Joëlle LE MAREC, Sorbonne Université, France
Fujun REN, CAST, China
Baudouin Jurdant was one of the first researchers to reverse the question of the direction of scientific popularisation and address it to researchers: what role does popularisation play in science itself, i.e. in the scientific world? However, we still think of it as a range of practices (popularisation, dissemination, scientific communication and mediation) based on a model for transmission of something (information, knowledge, perceptions, cultural productions, etc.) emanating from the “scientific community” and targeting a public seen as being external to it, with the idea that such transmission will have several types of positive effects, even though they may sometimes be contradictory: the quality of debate on political issues having major scientific aspects, for example, and adherence to science as a collective project. It is also assumed that it sustains a feeling of general social responsibility among researchers, who may nonetheless be equally taken with managerial forms of loyalty to the institution that organises scientific communication for strategic purposes. Hence, the work carried out in various parts of the world (in particular by Ren Fujun in China and Hak-Soo Kim in South Korea) addresses these diverse interests. In our roundtable, we shall be examining the limits of the “communities” (whether epistemic, political or cultural) to which researchers belong when they are involved in social communications on science: what do we want to do, who with and who for? These are the questions that inspired Bernard Schiele’s political contextualisation of communication on science.
Science’s self-criticism as a cultural and political practice, embodied by -Marc Levy-Leblond, the ontological turning-point in the face of environmental and climatic disaster, recognition of the debt as regards the many forms of knowledge that science has made invisible, the attention to vulnerabilities and dependences asserted by MélodieFaure, and the attention to experience developed by Lionel Maillot are all involved in an assumed recognition of openings going beyond routine optimistic communicational models blind to the contradictions they create. The young researchers and professional mediators who are experiencing increasingly precarious conditions in most of the world’s countries explicitly assume a connection between research practice and multiple vulnerabilities, and such experiences transform what they want to share with regard to the frontiers, centres and margins of places where knowledge is produced. These factors play a part in mediation practices. Through forms of involvement that have mobilised a great many researchers and stakeholders, communication situations have certainly helped emphasise what, in relationships to science, was specifically a part of what escapes dominant narratives of standards and mastery.
Analysis of communication models, sharing of experiences lived in a variety of scientific communication contexts, dissociation of the question of knowledge from that of science: in our roundtable, we shall try to connect forms of critical thought involved in science.