At a recent basketball game, the Maroon Minute was dedicated to the work of Dr. Jamaine Abidogun.
In a village in Nigeria, many women and girls know how to cure malaria and dysentery and some men have better results treating bone breaks than Western doctors. But they didn’t learn these skills in school; it’s knowledge that is passed down through the generations.
Dr. Jamaine Abidogun, professor of history at Missouri State University, has been interested in Nigeria and indigenous knowledge for a number of years. She has won two Fulbright awards to study in Nigeria.
She found that many Nigerian girls and women learn a great deal of knowledge related to medicine and agriculture from their mothers and grandmothers, but few of them pursue formal education in the hard sciences. She wanted to know why.
In Abidogun’s most recent Fulbright study, she identified indigenous knowledge about science and is working with a team from the United States and Nigeria to develop course material that could be used in high schools to help increase women’s studies of hard sciences at the university level.