The global scientific race to product new knowledge, technologies and technics on biodiversity results in the production of new uncertainties. Starting with different cases studies, this session will explore this quest of an exhaustive inventory of the world biodiversity.
Since 30 years, the technics and technologies used to collect and explore biodiversity have considerably improved. They have showed that the magnitude of species biodiversity was much higher than what was suspected before. The biologists have then discovered how much they were ignorant of this magnitude : 10 or 100 millions of species? To face such an uncertainty and to deal with, the international scientific community has launched global initiatives (Global Taxonomic Initiative, Global Biodiversity Information Facility, etc.) which allow the scientist to share more easily their database and their knowledge on biodiversity. The management of the uncertainty concerning the biodiversity is then done by using informatics and Internet in order to create new virtual and global networks of taxonomists all around the world. It is also done by using new molecular technologies to identify species (DNA barcoding) which are considered to be much faster than morphological identification. And finally, this management of uncertainty upon the magnitude of biodiversity is done by a revival of naturalists' inventories. Some of them are done at a scale never reached in the past : they are considered as the biggest naturalist expedition of all time. Starting from ethnographic descriptions, this session will explore the links between scientific knowledge/technologies, uncertainties and ignorance in the field of biodiversity.