“Neo-colonial science” or “parachute science” is a practice where international scientists, usually from higher-income countries, conduct fieldwork or collect data and samples in another country, usually of lower income, and then elaborate the data and publish scientific results without involving native researchers and/or communities.
This Union Symposium will provide participants with an introduction to the neo-colonial science, highlighting pertinent examples on how this practice has created a dependency on expertise with consequent lack of knowledge building and infrastructures development in countries that have been the base of important discoveries. Neo-colonial science is particularly evident across many geosciences’ disciplines, where low income countries have been used as natural laboratories for fieldwork of world-class researchers.

Scientific neocolonialism is unfair to the local scientific communities, who may contribute to the work without being recognized nor treated as equal partners. In addition, the scientific interpretations resulting from such approaches may suffer from the lack of local knowledge – which could prevent wrong hypothesis or extrapolations.

The presentations and discussions of this Union Symposium aim to shed light on various examples of scientific neo-colonialism, how EGU members can have significant impact, and how inclusion in global research can lead to better science.

Convener: Giuliana Panieri | Co-conveners: Barbara Ervens, Claudia Jesus-Rydin, Anouk Beniest, Robyn Pickering
Tue, 24 May, 17:00–18:30 (CEST)
Room E1