Interactions between conservation and the social sciences have frequently been characterised by either critique (of conservation by social scientists) or co-optation (of social scientific research by conservationists). This workshop invites conservationists and social scientists to move beyond these dominant frames by exploring new forms of dialogue and collaboration between the two fields. It asks: What might the conservation/social science interface look like if it wasn’t built around critique or co-optation? How might new collaborations and dialogues reshape existing paradigms, frameworks and values in both fields? How can conservationists and social scientists adapt and transform their methods in engagement with each other? What can we gain from these forms of collaboration and dialogue?
Panels will consist of short interventions (10-15 minutes) on specific themes and questions, followed by general discussions between presenters and other participants. In keeping with the theme of our project, the workshop focuses on the interface between orangutan conservation and social anthropology – but it also aims to raise questions and explore possibilities that resonate with wider debates across conservation and the social sciences.