Research Note: Innovation and the problem of values

Innovation is presented as the solution to address grand societal challenges. Taking this new policy motto seriously requires to renew the dominant imaginary of innovation defined by a series of attributes -technology centeredness, market relatedness, competition, entrepreneurialism, diffusion, exclusivity and creative destruction- and above all by the belief that innovation is always good.

To contribute to such an endeavour, this paper starts with the discussion of five innovation myths. This allows us to identify a set of “handles” that could contribute to a re-opening. The presentation of the three literature streams (Democratising innovation, Responsible innovation, Transformative change) that currently feed the innovation renewal allows consideration of explorations in academia as well as in public policy. A re-imagination and reinvention of innovation is underway, and this dynamic is constituted of different actors from different traditions but still has some limitations.

Call for applications Post-doctoral position in science studies/sociology of health

Call for applications

Post-doctoral position in science studies/sociology of health

The Univ. Grenoble Alpes offers a post-doctoral position in science studies / sociology of health in the research unit PACTE, to work on the IRS project « Soc-Epi » funded by IDEX Université Grenoble Alpes.

Background information. Epigenetics literally, what is “beyond” or above” genetics – is expected to bring about a paradigmatic change in the biomedical sciences and in health policies. The Soc-Epi project investigates how epigenetics may renew current ways of analyzing the biological embodiment of physical, material and social environments. Soc-Epi brings together sociologists of science, sociologists of health, environmental epidemiologists and researchers in epigenetics. Together they will explore the “biosocial” agendas which emerge with epigenetics and their possible translation in social and health policies. The project is led by the Social Sciences Research Unit PACTE and brings together five partner institutions (PACTE; Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Grenoble; Techniques for biomedical engineering and complexity management – informatics, mathematics and applications, Grenoble; Inserm Research Unit 1027, epidemiology, Toulouse; Interdisciplinary Research Unit Sciences, Health and Society, Cermes3, Paris).

Job description: an in-depth qualitative study (data collection and analysis: interviews, observations); organisation of interdisciplinary workshops (epigenetics, epidemiology, sociology).

The post-doctoral position is an 18-month contract, starting October 1, 2018. They will be in residence at the PACTE research unit in Grenoble, and work in close collaboration with Séverine Louvel (project leader, associate prof in sociology, Sciences Po Grenoble), Cherry Schrecker (professor in sociology, UGA) and Solène Billaud (associate professor in sociology, UGA).

Applicants’ profile. Applicants will have successfully completed a doctoral degree, preferably, in science studies and/or sociology of health. Previous knowledge on epigenetics is not required, however familiarity with public health issues is necessary. Previous experience in a qualitative social science study and data analysis is also required. Applicants should be fluent in French and proficient in English. The post-doctoral researcher is expected to interact closely with the project’s members and to publish his/her research in peer-reviewed publications and via oral presentations. The postdoctoral position is open to international applicants.

Applications. Applicants must hold a PhD degree (or be about to earn one) or have a University degree equivalent to a European PhD (8-year duration)

Applicants will have to send an application letter in English and attach:

– Their last diploma

Their CV

Two letters of recommendation.

Applications should be submitted to: and

Application deadline: July 15, 2018 at 12pm (CET)

Eligibility check of applications and 1st round of selection: in August 2018

2nd round of selection: shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview session in Grenoble in September 2018.

-Starting date for employment: October 1, 2018

International workshop on System Innovation towards Sustainable Agriculture SISA-3 – To be held in Riga (Latvia) 6-8 November 2018 at the Baltic Studies Centre

The aim of the third SISA workshop is to bring together research insights and practical experiences in making agriculture more sustainable. The workshop will discuss these in-depth, seeking to contribute to more robust knowledge on how to stimulate transitions towards sustainable agro-food systems.

The workshop will address a range of analytical methods, experiences and scientific insights of the main issues at stake in sustainability research and projects. Doing so, the meeting seeks to realize three main objectives, notably:

• Compare and contrast the issues and analysis of multi-actor innovation process, R&D practices, governance and transformative policies in various European countries;
• Provide input to rethinking government policies, socioprofessional strategies and civic concerns to contribute to sustainability transitions in the agro-food systems on the basis of existing research and experiences;
• Define the content and the agenda of the on-going SISA open consortium for further research and mission-oriented policy support.

Organization committee:
Marc Barbier – INRA & IFRIS, France
Marianne Cerf – INRA SAD, IDEAS, France
Boelie Elzen – Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands
Talis Tisenkopfs – Baltic Studies Centre, Latvia

Abstract Submission Web Page:

SISA CoP Web Page:

Download the full document:

2nd USPC-NUS Conference « Science, Policy & Society » Paris, 22-23 May 2018

Following the success of the first “Science, Policy & Society” conference at the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2017, the Université Sorbonne Paris Cité (USPC) and NUS are organising a second event in Paris on 22-23 May 2018.

The first “Science, Policy & Society” conference was the occasion to celebrate the USPC-NUS partnership and to showcase the joint initiatives in research and teaching founded by the two institutions within their collaboration. Click here to see the booklet of the conference held in 2017.

The second conference will be the opportunity to draw on the strengths of each institution in order to create new partnerships. The event will focus on how different disciplines and international collaborations can contribute to advance science and create innovative solutions to tomorrow’s challenges. The event will pay a special attention on how the humanities and the social sciences interact with other disciplines while ensuring that the outcomes of their work is sustainable and beneficial for the society.

You can view the details of the programme on the dedicated page and download the booklet of the conference here.

Revisiting the Nuclear Order. Technopolitical Landscapes and Timescapes – 11-12 June 2018 – Paris

Revisiting the Nuclear Order. Technopolitical Landscapes and Timescapes

11-12 June 2018

Institut d’études avancées

17 quai d’Anjou, 75004, Paris


Organization: Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), Soraya Boudia (Université Paris Descartes), Kyoko Sato (Stanford University)

You will find attached the program of this international conference and below a presentation in French. The program is also available at this address:

This second workshop is dedicated to exploring the spatial and temporal dimensions of nuclear order. It is a part of a bilateral France/United States research project funded by the Partner University Fund for a period of 3 years (2016-
2019). The first workshop, “Making the World Nuclear After Hiroshima”, took place
at Stanford on May 22-23, 2017 ( The final conference will be held in Japan in 2019, and the project will conclude with an
edited volume.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been widely perceived as the dawn of a new era, the
Nuclear Age that Gunther Anders described as “the age in which at any given moment we have the power to transform any given place on our planet, and even our planet itself, into a Hiroshima.” It was quickly realized that nuclear technology changed the scale of the problems to face with planetary challenges that required
a global mode of governance. As a marker of the power of states and national sovereignty, nuclear power played a key role in the Cold War and influenced international politics in the following decades. With nuclear technology the
world became a laboratory to address a variety of issues, ranging from energy independence to deterrence, from safety and security to the management of waste and disasters. Nuclear power has also profoundly shaped cultural productions (e.g., cinema, literature, art), as an icon of power and means of massive destruction. Since the Cold War period, in turn, nuclear energy has reconfigured our societies,
through persistent geopolitical tensions and symbolic representations associated with it, in particular through museums and memorials.

Conference « Pervasive Powers : Private Authority in the Shaping of Public Policy » Paris-Dauphine University from June 14th to 16th.

We are pleased to send you the conference program “Pervasive Powers: Private Authority in the Shaping of Public Policy”, to be held at Paris-Dauphine University from June 14th to 16th.

« The power of corporate business has been a subject of intense debate and many social science studies since the 19th century. This conference is based on the idea that, not only has this power varied among industries, countries and different periods, but also that the way in which it is wielded has evolved over time. By bringing together scholars from various backgrounds within the field of the social sciences, we intend to provide new insights on the multiplicity, depth and limits of the forms of influence that corporations, or the organizations furthering their interests – business associations, think tanks, communication or public relations agencies, foundations, etc. –, have on public policy. »

Download the full program here