• Le 18 janvier 2021

    En visioconférence

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  • 14h00 à 17h00

Science-society dynamics through a social representations approach


Modern societies are under constant change. Social representations theory (SRT) proposes interesting theoretical tools to analyse how scientific activities changed human-environment relations. In this presentation I will illustrate through three studies how “scientific facts” are either created or create epistemological and social change. A first set of studies was interested in the notion of expert and how it might hide more diversity that what is assumed. Here risk perceptions of nanoproducts are compared across a broad variety of scientific backgrounds (Bertoldo et al., 2016). Results show that hard scientists attribute less risks to new nanoproducts, while life and social scientists tend to attribute more. A second research explores the social change process parallel to scientific discourse through the analysis of how marine submersion emerged from a scientific idea and steered social change down from national policies to local policy implementation in France. This study will focus particularly on how the Xynthia storm geared up these social changes. A third study tried to examine how different scientific assumptions, or models of science, influence how climate related scientific uncertainty is interpreted. Results show that more binary models of science (either/or) have difficulties in dealing with uncertainty and can be more prone to climate-sceptic arguments (Bertoldo et al., 2019). These studies consider the evolving social epistemologies within scientific – and interdisciplinary – communities mirror wider socioeconomical dynamics. The type of representations and the social processes that illustrate the modern science-society relations will be discussed.


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