Anthropology Professor Presented to Premier of China

Etkin in China to Speak at International Conference on Biodiversity Conservation

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs & University Relations
Nina Etkin, (808) 956-7726
Professor and Chair
Posted: Jun 13, 2002

Nina Etkin, professor of anthropology at UH Mānoa, was the invited guest of the International Conference on Science & Technology in Biodiversity Conservation and Utilization, which met recently in Beijing, China. She presented the plenary address, "Contributions of Traditional Knowledge and Practices to the Conservation of Biodiversity," which concerned how indigenous cultural practices involving medicinal and food plants fosters the conservation of those species.

Etkin was appointed by her Chinese hosts as the official delegate to the opening ceremony of the China Beijing International High-Tech Expo, which was held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during the conference. She joined a small group of dignitaries who were introduced to Zhu Rongji, Premier of China, prior to his keynote speech. Others who officiated included Shi Guangsheng, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation; Xu Guanha, Minister of Science and Technology; and Miu Qi, Mayor of Beijing.

Etkin also was a guest of Dr. Wang Kui, the Director of Foreign Affairs of the Xi Yuan Hospital — China‘s leading institution that integrates Western and traditional Chinese medicine — as well as a collaborator in the World Health Organization‘s Center for Traditional Medicine.

An internationally recognized leader in ethnopharmacology and medical anthropology, Etkin is the former president of the International Society for Ethnopharmacology and a fellow of the Linnean Society. She is a past recipient of the University of Hawaiʻi‘s Regents‘ Medal for Excellence in Research, has published widely on medical anthropology and ethnopharmacology, and has received a number of grants from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, and National Endowment for Humanities. Her research ranges from West Africa, to the eastern Maluku Islands of Indonesia, and to urban Honolulu.