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Science & reason

Autonomie des chercheurs et des mondes savants
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Militer pour la science.
Les organisations rationalistes en France 1930-2005
Ed. Ehess 2019
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Published in spring 2019, this book offers a history of rationalist organizations in France since 1930.

Some scientists believe that science stops at the laboratory door. Others spend their time promoting the "scientific spirit" among citizens, believing that science is not just a profession, but the pillar of a public space based on truth. This book takes a closer look at the latter, and seeks to explain the social and intellectual conditions of scientists' public commitment to science and rationalism.

Indeed, even if the rationalist organizations described in this book rarely exceed a thousand members, they constitute an object for the social sciences that enables us to ask questions that are inversely broader than their size or relative confidentiality might suggest. They show how, and by what processes, "truth" or the "defense of science" can be sustainably erected as a political argument and mobilized in the public arena by science enthusiasts or by scientists themselves, in ways that differ from generation to generation, from the anticlerical battles of the 1930s to the debates on the precautionary principle at the start of the 21st century.

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Les Gardiens de la Raison : enquête sur la désinformation scientifique
La Découverte,
2020

In this book, co-written with investigative journalists Stéphane Foucart and Stéphane Horel, we explore the mutations of lobbying strategies and the capture of rationalist arguments by industrialists.

Today, the preferred target of influencers is no longer just the government minister, but the college biology teacher, the blogger and all those who pass on science. Exploring the new frontiers of lobbying, this investigation reveals the manipulative strategies employed by pesticide, oil and alcohol merchants to promote their "good" science and capture the market for scientific information. It shows how the new industrial strategies are increasingly aimed at having the messages conveyed by pseudo-research institutes carried "from below", by amateur science movements or "micro-influencers".

 

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Enquêter :
de quel droit ?
Ed. du Croquant, 2009


In this book, co-edited with Frédéric Neyrat, we return to the question of the autonomy of social science research in the face of the judiciarization of social relations, and in particular to the issue of trials of researchers.

Faced with ethical standards and legal rules governing privacy or intellectual property, sociologists - and more generally all social science researchers - are increasingly confronted with the rights of respondents or other higher principles, sometimes to the point of threatening the completion or publication of their survey. The aim of this book is to explore the tensions between the right to investigate and the right of those being investigated, and the conflict between scientific legitimacy and the various ways in which investigations can be put on hold. It is also an opportunity to take stock of the rights that social science researchers can assert, as well as their duties in the face of a judicialization of social relations that could ultimately threaten their autonomy.

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About Academic Freedom
Since 2010
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Since 2010, I have published several papers and articles on Academic Freedom:

 

- « L’ethnographie en procès. Enjeux contemporains autour de l’éthique de l’enquête de terrain », Genèses, 2022/4 (n° 129), p. 7-13

- "Derrière la « crise » du free speech : l’université rêvée des industriels libertariens », Mouvements, 2022/4 (n° 112), p. 126-136.

- Avec Stéphane Foucart et Stéphane Horel, "Les gardiens autoproclamés de la science", AOC, décembre 2020, postface en ligne des Gardiens de la raison.

- "L'autonomie des sciences sociales en état d'urgence ? Etat des lieux de la situation française dix ans après le colloque 'Enquêter : de quel droit ?'", Sociologie et sociétés, printemps 2020, vol. LII, n° 1, p. 47-68.

- Avec Marie Hermann, préface à Jacques Bouveresse, Les premiers jours de l'inhumanité, Hors d'atteinte, 2019 (et entretien avec l'auteur).

 

- Avec Thibaud Boncourt, Raphaëlle Branche, Christel Coton, Marielle Debos, Mathias Delori, Chowra Makaremi et Christophe Wasinski, "Pour des recherches sur la guerre indépendantes", Carnet Zilsel, juin 2018.

- Entretien avec Thierry Dominici, "Des sciences sociales sous surveillance. Récit d'une enquête sociologique interrompue par un juge d'instruction", Carnet Hypothèses de l'Association française de sociologie, mars 2016.

 

- « Le Simmel de Freund. Sociologie d’une importation sélective », in Denis Thouard et Bénédicte Zimmermann, Georg Simmel : Le parti pris du Tiers, Paris, CNRS éditions, 2017, pp. 33-55.


• Avec Frédéric Neyrat, « Le chercheur saisi par le droit : l’enquête et les sciences sociales en procès ?” », in Sylvain Laurens et Frédéric Neyrat (dir.), Enquêter, de quel droit ? Menaces sur l’enquête en sciences sociales, Bellecombe en Bauges, éditions du Croquant, 2010.

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