ANSES's scientific expertise regularly focuses on topics that are key issues for society involving different types of uncertainty – scientific, social, economic, and political. To better take these into account in its risk assessments, ANSES draws on human and social sciences in its expert appraisal and research work. It creates forums for interaction with its various stakeholders, for example in the form of dialogue committees and thematic steering committees.
In order to develop and strengthen its activities in this area, the Agency has entrusted Brice Laurent with the creation of a dedicated department. A sociology researcher and teacher specialising in the relationship between science and society, Brice Laurent will bring a strategic vision to the role of human and social sciences in the Agency's various missions.
He will oversee implementation of the expert appraisal system for socio-economic analyses launched in 2021 so that ANSES may carry out its new tasks in this area in a relevant and innovative manner. Responsible for the quality of dialogue with stakeholders, he will suggest ways of developing exchanges with civil society as a whole so that they remain interactive, inclusive and constructive.
At a time when scientific expertise is more necessary than ever, a large number of topics are controversial and marked by a high level of uncertainty. Human and social sciences have a role to play in dealing with these situations that require a commitment to dialogue with stakeholders. The objectives of the new department will be to structure and develop openness to society and expertise in the area of human and social sciences, in collaboration with the Agency's other departments, stakeholders, and the scientific community.
Brice Laurent’s background
A sociologist specialising in the relationship between science and society, Brice Laurent defended his thesis at the Centre for the Sociology of Innovation in 2011. He has also been a Chief Engineer graduate of Mines ParisTech since 2014.
In 2019, he received an accreditation to conduct sociology research at Sciences Po Paris. His research work focuses on policy issues associated with scientific and technical innovation. He has written several books, including Les Politiques des Nanotechnologies (ECLM, 2010), Democratic Experiments (MIT Press, 2017), and European Objects (MIT Press, 2022). He has also supervised three collective works and published 25 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 15 book chapters.
Brice Laurent is a researcher at the Centre for the Sociology of Innovation of Mines ParisTech. He has taught at Sciences Po Paris, Paris 1 University, and the Technical University of Munich. He is a board member of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology and the Science and Democracy Network, and Vice-Chair of the INERIS Research and Expertise Orientation Commission.