I. Human non-human associations

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As human city dwellers we have particular ideas about the other species and other-than-humans with whom we share our personal spaces. On one hand, in the best-case scenario those beings are seen as ornaments, pets or companions; and on the other hand, when we unwillingly share our spaces with other-than-humans, they are seen as pests, invaders, hassles or hindrance. Generally speaking, something similar happens in “Social” sciences because other-than-humans are rarely taken as agents or actors, rather other-than-humans are regarded as entities without individual action or agency. Is this the same case in natural sciences? Are there other connections between humans and other-than-humans that may bring a better understanding of the complex system where we live? If so, what is the condition of those connections? Are they damaged? Can they be mended? These are some of the questions that brought me here, to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama, to take this Integrative Tropical Biology course.

Camilo Gc

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