Michel DUBOIS, (with Brunet P.), « Stem Cells and Technoscience : Sociology of the Emergence and Regulation of A Field of Biomedical Research in France », Revue Française de Sociologie, 53-3, 2012, pp.241-286 (édition anglaise RFS), , 2012

Abstract : Located at the leading edge of reconfigurations of the contemporary academic world, biomedical research is a priority area for the sociology of science. A number of studies describe in turn the rise of the “scientist entrepreneur,” the blurring of the traditional boundaries between science and industry, or even the abandonment of the normative principles supposed to characterize the scientific community. This article proposes to shed light on these reconfigurations by studying a new field of biomedical research—the human embryonic stem cell (hESC)—and a key player in France: the Institut des Cellules Souches pour le Traitement et l’Étude des Maladies Monogéniques (Institute of Stem Cell Therapy and Exploration of Monogenic Diseases) or I-STEM. Reviving a tradition dedicated to the sociological study of scientific specialties, the article analyses the emergence of I-STEM from the dual perspective of the temporalities that coincide in a single project and its territorial location in the Evry Biopark. By adopting a broader conception of the regulation of science, the article demonstrates the importance for sociologists not to interpret the logic of scientific action through too simplistic a framework, and from an international comparison between France and Britain, the need to replace a purely transgressive conception of technoscience with an approach centred on the organizational regime of scientific work.

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English edition of « Cellules souches et technoscience : sociologie de l’émergence et de la régulation d’un domaine de recherche biomédicale en France », Revue Française de Sociologie, 53-3, 2012, pp.391-428