Scientific Knowledge
Across Jurisdictions

A host of pressing questions

  • How does scientific knowledge travel across epistemic communities and national jurisdictions?
  • What are the challenges confronting scientific knowledge production whose materials (e.g. marine genetic resources) might come from areas beyond a state’s control?
  • What happens to scientific innovations when they cross the boundaries between public good and private commodity?

Tracing scientific knowledge production in a deeply interconnected world raises a host of pressing questions.

A cross-disciplinary approach

The objective of this research collaboration is to shed light on them via a three-pronged cross-disciplinary approach.

We combine (1) scientific expertise on marine biodiversity, with (2) legal knowledge of intellectual property rights and (3) a philosophical framework for understanding the value of scientific knowledge produced across situated epistemic communities.

This cross-disciplinary project develops a new lens to bring about a fairer and more inclusive approach to stewarding scientific knowledge production—with a focus on Scottish marine biodiversity and coastal communities.

Research Team

Applicant (University of Edinburgh)
Michela Massimi is Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Edinburgh. She works on a range of topics in the history and philosophy of science and the epistemology of science, with a particular focus on realism and pluralism in science, perspectivism and situated knowledge. She was the PI of an ERC Consolidator Grant (2016-2021) and she is the author of the book Perspectival Realism (Oxford University Press, 2022). She was Vice-President of the European Philosophy of Science Association and she is President-Elect of the Philosophy of Science Association.
Co-Applicants (University of Aberdeen)
Abbe Brown is a Professor in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Aberdeen. Her research explores the intersection, or lack of it, between intellectual property and laws relating to other legal fields, to address key societal challenges. She is the co-author of Contemporary Intellectual Property: Law and Policy (OUP 2019) and the author of  Intellectual Property, Climate Change and Technology: Managing National Legal Intersections, Relationships and Conflicts (Edward Elgar 2019).  Abbe is a Senior Expert of the NERC’s Constructing A Digital Environment, a member of IUCN and DOSI and a member of the Technology Law and Practice Committee and the COP26 and Climate Change Working Group of the Law Society of Scotland.
Co-Applicants (University of Aberdeen)
Marcel Jaspars’ main expertise is in marine natural products which have potential for the discovery of new pharmaceuticals. His work is at the centre of the marine biodiscovery pipeline, and Marcel has frequent contact with people operating at all stages of this pipeline, from the collection and identification of the organisms to their testing in whole animal models. Marcel has been active at national and international levels to develop the science, its applications/industrial uptake and associated policy involved in marine biodiscovery and biotechnology. He provides scientific advice to the UK, EU and UN for global policy processes on ocean conservation via reports, papers and taking part in discussion meetings. More recently he has been involved in providing a definition of digital sequence information, a topic being discussed under the Convention on Biological Diversity.