STS Programs: France
France is a major player in science and technology studies thanks to the influence of Bruno Latour, his students, and colleagues at the Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation (CSI) in Paris. Some of the programs listed here may not, on first glance, seem STS-related; however, this is a self-selected list: contributors with knowledge of these programs listed them here.
PLease note: Research units of public institutes in France (CNRS, INRA, INSERM, IRD and so on) can be “mixed units” with some other public research institute or university. It is therefore a common difficulty for foreigners to identify under which heading should a research laboratory be located (see below the example of Centre Koyre which belongs to CNRS, the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie ).
Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)
Paris: Eiffel Tower at Sunrise
The Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) is the largest and most prominent public research organization in France.
Centre Alexandre Koyré – Centre de recherche en Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques
PROGRAM TYPE: Research doctoral program
DEGREE OFFERED: Master’s: Sciences Sociales, Histoire des Sciences, Technologies, Sociétés; Ph.D.: Histoire et Civilization
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1958 within the EHESS, the center is the result of a decade of discussion between Fernand Braudel and Alexandre Koyré on the history of sciences and his place among social sciences. It is in memory of the part played by Koyré in this decision-making, and more generally in the French and international panorama of the history of sciences, that the center bears its name. In 1988, the Center was incorporated into CNRS, and took on numerous new responsibilities; for example, it is also a research department of France’s national museum of natural history (Le Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle). Currently, the Center is associated with a variety of Paris-based research institutes (including Le Centre de Recherche en Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques and universities (including L’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and La Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie), and participates in a doctoral program called History and Civilisation. The center’s unique approach focuses on role played by specific social, institutional, religious, historical, technological, and material constraints, acting reciprocally, to produce knowledge. For example, the research laboratory examines the way specific scientific practices construct their own scientific problems. Although the Center focuses on modern and contemporary science in the Western world, the Center’s unique perspective does not arise from a specific temporal or geographic focus, but rather its emphasis on the historicity and materiality of the conditions of knowledge production, transmission, and reception.
CONTACT INFO: http://www.koyre.cnrs.fr/article.php3?id_article=3
REHSEIS – Recherches Epistémologiques et Historiques sur les Sciences Exactes et les Institutions Scientifiques
PROGRAM TYPE: Research doctoral program
DESCRIPTION: “Created in 1984, REHSEIS focuses on the epistemology and the history of the exact sciences – mathematics, physics, life sciences and ground -, as well as the history of scientific institutions. Fundamental to the REHSEIS team’s interdisciplinary approach is the conviction that scientific works must be understood in their context (institutional, social, and cultural), and furthermore, that grasping this context requires an interntional, cross-cultural perspective in which varying scientific cultures are considered. A variety of methodologies are used (including linguistics, philosophy, history, sociology, and anthropology).
CONTACT INFO: http://www.rehseis.cnrs.fr/presentation/coordonnees.htm
Laboratoire d’Economie et de Sociologie du Travail (LEST)
Aix en Provence, France.
PROGRAM TYPE: Research institute
- Laboratoire d’Economie et de Sociologie du Travail-LEST
Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers de Paris (CNAM)
Paris, France The Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), or National Conservatory of Crafts and Industries, is a higher education establishment ( grand établissement) operated by the French government dedicated to providing education and conducting research for the promotion of science and industry. It has a large museum of inventions accessible to the public. Originally charged with the collection of inventions, it has since become an educational institution. At the present time, it is known primarily a continuing education school for adults seeking engineering degrees, proposing evening classes in a variety of topics.
Laboratoire d’Investigation en Prospective, Stratégie et Organisation (LIPSOR)
PROGRAM TYPE: Continuing education for working professionals
URL (English): http://www.cnam.fr/lipsor/eng/contents.php
URL (Français) http://www.cnam.fr/lipsor/
DESCRIPTION: “Over the past 17 years, the Department of prospective industrielle has become a major European centre for industrial and territorial prospective research. Currently held by Professor Michel Godet, the Department belongs to the economics and management wing of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers de Paris (CNAM) which is a public institution of higher education under the supervision of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research. As such, the department guides and prepares CNAM graduate students and doctoral candidates in prospective research, research policy as in technological foresight and strategic planning.” Under the leadership of Prof. Rémi Barré, a new program called Recherche, Technologie, Innovation et Action Publique brings STS concepts and methods (especially scientometrics) into the training of future public servants and business executive who will be concerned with research, innovation, and technology transfer.
CONTACT INFO: http://www.cnam.fr/lipsor/contact.php
École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris
Paris, France The École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris is the most prominent engineering school among France’s Grandes Ecoles, the highly selective institutions that train the managerial and technical elites of the next generation. Despite its small size (only up to 120 students accepted each year), it is a crucial part of the infrastructure of French industry. Its students are for the most part supposed to have management position in industrial companies and receive a good training not only in technical fields but also in economics and social sciences.
Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation (CSI)
PROGRAM TYPE: Research doctoral program
URL: http://www.csi.ensmp.fr/index.php?page=accueil&lang=en (English), http://www.csi.ensmp.fr/ (Français)
DESCRIPTION: “Since its inception in 1967 the CSI, grounding its approach in the sociology of science, of law and of culture, has focused on research dynamics in enterprise, the anthropology of laboratories, the socio-technical analysis of innovation, and scientometrics. Its research topics were originally organized on these bases, in the 1980s, around three complementary but relatively distinct axes in which the CSI has acquired an international reputation: the anthropology of science and techniques, research and innovation policies (public, NGO and private), and the construction of publics, markets and uses. The socio-technical analysis of innovations, the evaluation and dynamic analysis of research policies, and research on culture, the media and users, have resulted in a theoretical perspective known as ANT (Actor-Network Theory) that has been widely debated both in France and abroad, particularly in the field of Sciences Studies…. By turning towards research on associations, forms of public debate, users and tastes, the CSI is applying the results of the sociology of innovation to new issues.”
FACULTY : http://www.csi.ensmp.fr/index.php?page=equipe&lang=en
Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (Champs-sur-Marne)
The École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC) (“National school of Bridges and Roads”), often referred to as les Ponts, is the world’s oldest engineering school and remains to this day one of the most prestigious French Grandes Écoles of engineering. It is located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris and in a “new town,” Marne-la-Vallée (a suburb of Paris).
Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires et Sociétés (LATTS)
LOCATION: Marne-la-Vallée, France (30 mins. from Paris)
PROGRAM TYPE: Research doctoral institute
- LATTS. Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires et Sociétés
DESCRIPTION: “The LATTS (a French acronym incorporating technology, territories and societies), which was founded in 1985, is a mixed entity of the CNRS and brings together researchers from the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (top French engineering institute under the auspices of the French Ministry of Public Works – http://www.enpc.fr/) and the CNRS (from the “Spaces, territories and societies” and “Policy, authority, and organisation” departments), as well as academics and researchers, mainly from the university of Marne-la-Vallée (http://www.univ-mlv.fr/). Its team of approximately thirty researchers (in city planning, economics, ergonomics, geography, management, history, political science and sociology) and thirty doctoral candidates carry out research into enterprises, public administration, local institutions, collective action, territorial dynamics and the related technical systems. By means of field research, comparative investigations and conceptual thought processes, this work in the social sciences pursues multidisciplinary aims: between disciplines, between theory and empirics and between scientific controversy and public debate.”
CONTACT INFO: http://latts.cnrs.fr/siteuk/annuaire.php
Institut de recherche pour le Développement (IRD)
DESCRIPTION: “The IRD is a French public science and technology research institute under the joint authority of the French ministries in charge of research and overseas development. The IRD has three main missions: research, consultancy and training. It conducts scientific programs contributing to the sustainable development of the countries of the South, with an emphasis on the relationship between man and the environment.” CONTACT INFO: http://www.ird.fr/fr/contacts/index.htm
Savoir et développement (Knowledge and development)
PROGRAM TYPE: Research team
LOCATION: Paris, France; Mexico City, Mexico; Hanoi and Ho-chi minh Ville, Vietnam; Canton, China; and some other.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The research Unit Savoir et développement is the only one in France dedicated to social studies on knowledge in developing countries. It focuses on education, the use of knowledge in the labour markets, technological development and science and technology policy.
Université Louis Pasteur
Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg
Strasbourg The Université Louis Pasteur, also known as Strasbourg I or ULP is a large university in Strasbourg, Alsace, France. As of 2004, there were approximately 18,000 students enrolled at the university, including around 3,000 foreign students. Research and teaching at ULP concentrates on the natural sciences and technology/medicine. It is named after the famous 19th-century French scientist Louis Pasteur.
Bureau d’Economie Théorique et Appliquée (BETA)
PROGRAM TYPE: Research laboratory URL: DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1972, BETA is a large research laboratory (with more than 100 active researchers) that focuses on economics and management science. “BETA covers a large range of activities concerning basic aspects as well as applications of scientific research in economics and management science. Historically, the laboratory developed its research programme on the basis of micro and macroeconomic theory, and is heir to a local tradition of studying the history of economic thought. It also progressively defined original scientific trajectories, which resulted from the fruitful interaction of theoretical approaches and field studies, and led to specialisations such as economics of innovation, evolutionary theory of the firm, management of technologies, environmental economics, economics of risk, socio-economic approaches of education, training and employment. In the long run specific competencies have been derived from research activities and methodological tools intentionally developed: modelling techniques, econometrics, evaluation methods, foresight, experimental economics, etc. More recently new fields emerged: cliometrics and economic history and law and economics.”
CONTACT INFO: http://cournot2.u-strasbg.fr/users/beta/index.php
Institut de recherches interdisciplinaires sur les sciences et la technologie (IRIST)
PROGRAM TYPE: University department
DEGREES OFFERED: Master’s (Social Studies of Science and Technology)
DESCRIPTION: IRIST was created in 2001 from two previously separate programs: history and philosophy of science and science studies; in 2004/5, a third research team (biomedical ethics) joined the department. To express the common intellectual ground resulting from this union, IRIST says that its research focuses on the “intersection of the epistemological and historical analysis of scientific texts with science studies.” For the period 2005-2008, the department will focus its research in four areas: (1) Conditions and consequences of the reception of scientific speech: scientific truth, public credibility and new spaces of expertise; (2) Scientific knowledge transmission as patrimony: the memory and culture of science; (3) History and comparative studies: sciences, institutions and policies in France and Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries; (4) The play of scale, from local to global: the internationalization of natural, biomedical and technological risks; and (5) Ethics and practical medicine.
CONTACT INFO: http://irist.u-strasbg.fr/index.php?option=com_contact&catid=12&Itemid=3
University of Paris I: Panthéon-Sorbonne
Paris, France University of Paris I: Panthéon-Sorbonne is one of the 13 universities in Paris. Historically, it was part of the University of Paris, which was subsequently split into several universities. Some forty thousand students are enrolled in 14 teaching and research departments (Unités de Formation et de Recherche) and 5 Institutes, which offer top level degree courses in law, political science, economics, management and the humanities. The university is spread across Paris, and notably occupies part of the Sorbonne and other prestigious French university buildings. Paris I is at the centre of a rich network of international relations stretching across the five continents and continues to play a major role in the training of researchers, academics, judges, lawyers, senior managers and top French civil servants.
Institut d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences et des Techniques (IHPST)
PROGRAM TYPE: University department
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1932, IHPST is the oldest history and philosophy of science and technology program (HPST) in France and was largely responsible for creating the French approach to this subject. This approach is characterized by a refusal to do mere historical scholarship without placing historical evidence in philosophical perspective. In addition, IHPST has been a pioneer in comprehending the role of social context in the construction of science and technology.
CONTACT INFO: http://www-ihpst.univ-paris1.fr/gen.php?lng=fr&cat=_general&rub=r06
Université Pierre Mendès-France (UPMF)
Grenoble The Grenoble Universités comprise four institutions located in Grenoble, a small city (pop. 157,500 in 2005) situated at the base of the Alps. They form a truly massive higher education complex serving 60,000 students. Université Pierre-Mendès (UPMF) emphasizes the social and human sciences, business, and the law. Nearby Université Joseph Fourier (UJF) is one of the leading French scientific universities, while the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble (INPG) trains more than 1,000 engineers in high-tech areas each year.
Centre de recherche innovation socio-technique et organisations industrielles (CRISTO)
PROGRAM TYPE: Research doctoral program & Master Degree
UNIVERSITY URL: http://www.upmf-grenoble.fr/
- Research lab: http://www.upmf-grenoble.fr/cristo/
- Doctoral program Organisation industrielle et système de production
- Master’s program [|Strategic Management and Organization]
DEGREES OFFERED: Industrial Sociology (doctorate) & Research in Organisation (Master)
DESCRIPTION: Headed by CSI graduate Dominique Vinck, the Center for Research on Socio-technical Innovation and Industrial Organization (Université Pierre-Mendès) brings fresh perspectives and methods, including actor-network theory (ANT), economic anthropology, sociology of work, sociology of organizations, and ethnography, to the study of science dynamics, innovation, market, organizational change, and industrial regulation. The faculty are exceptionally active researchers (see [http://web.upmf-grenoble.fr/cristo/publi/home.htm for a list of very interesting faculty publications). Active research areas include design and innovation, sociology of science (in nanoscience and nanotechnology), dynamics of management tools, modes of rationalization in industry, and hospitals, health and security problems at work, anthropology of the market, and the sociology of technology.
CONTACT INFO: http://web.upmf-grenoble.fr/cristo/
Université de Technologie de Compiègne (UTC)
Université de Technologie de Compiègne (UTC) is a university of engineering located in Compiègne, a small town located on the Oise River, ,about 35 km north of Paris. It is the originator of the Université de Technologie, a network of three newly formed engineering schools (the other two are located in Troyes and Belfort-Montbéliard). Founded in 1972, UTC has about 4,000 students.
Connaissance, organisation et systèmes techniques (COSTEC)
DEGREES OFFERED: Master’s
DESCRIPTION: COSTEC consists of four research groups that all share a common interest: the role of knowledge and organizations in technological systems. Among the varied research activities undertaken at COSTEC is an anthropological investigation of the conditions by which numbers become meaningful for enrolling support in technological ventures. Situated in a technological university, COSTEC emphasizes community and industrial engagement as well as academic excellence.
CONTACT INFO: http://www.utc.fr/costech/v2/pages/contact.php
Université de Toulouse-Le Mirail
Toulouse, France The Université de Toulouse II-Le Mirail is the social sciences/humanities campus of the Université de Toulouse, which comprises two other units: Université Toulouse I – L’Arsenal covers business and law, while Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier covers science and engineering. The three units together form the second-largest university complex in France, with over 100,000 students. Fast-growing Toulouse, the fourth-largest city in France, is located on the Garonne River in southern France. This part of France is undergoing an economic boom fueled by aerospace giant Airbus Industries, network hardware manufacturer Alcatel, and several other fast-growing, high-technology industries.
Centre d’études des rationalités et des savoirs
PROGRAM TYPE: Research laboratory
DESCRIPTION: Cirus-Cers is a sociology department that places central emphasis on the dynamics of social action and the negotiation of social space. (1) Production, diffusion, and circulation of knowledge: (2) social construction and management of health systems; and (3) Technical and human mediations of cultural forms.
CONTACT INFO: http://w3.univ-tlse2.fr/cers/addr.htm
Page title: STS programs: France
Revision ID: 4510
Date accessed: Wednesday, May 14, 2008
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