Expertise scientifique : comment peser dans le débat public ?
  • Sorbonne University Alliance

Scientific expertise: how can we influence the public debate?

In a period of widespread contestation of authority discourses, the status of the scientific expert has both become trivialized and degraded. We are faced with a triple crisis in: politics, media and science. It is therefore essential to understand the complex and often hidden operating methods of these “influence industries” that take advantage through lobbying in all its forms.

As part of the SOUND project, the seminar entitled “Scientific expertise: how can we influence the public debate?” is designed to build a shared culture within Sorbonne University and the members of the Alliance. It is based on collective questions informed by a dialogue between academic actors and "third parties", experts in the modes of the circulation of information and of their developments.

These seminars have a dual objectives:

  • Contribute to a critical mapping of influence games

The question of influence is not new but the mechanisms have become considerably sophisticated and often remain unknown to most. Providing detailed knowledge of it, beyond initiated circles, is therefore a matter of public interest.

  • Participate in a collective reflection on new methods of sharing expertise to have greater influence in the public debate

At the same time, we must collectively rethink the distribution and promotion of these actions and also question ourselves in terms of influence, starting by targeting the right editorial supports and relevant media partnerships.

This 6-session seminar is primarily designed for members of the Sorbonne University Alliance establishments. However, interested external people can participate, subject to availability.

Please note that these seminars are only available in FRENCH. Please switch to the French version of our website to access the full program of seminars in French.

Free participation, and registration (in French), the seminar is offered in person and by videoconference. The sessions will generally take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and will be followed by a moment of informal discussions around a snack.

The program covers a variety of topics:

  • Understand the challenges of a systemic approach to advance knowledge on the mechanisms of influence
  • Understanding marketing mechanisms
  • Understand the challenges of public debate
  • Take into account the issues of consumer information
  • Understanding the role of “Science and Education” influencers
  • Take stock of the diversity of industrial actions with European authorities

The seminars are led by Laurent Petit, professor of Information and Communication Sciences at Sorbonne University (Inspé, Gripic), deputy director of GIS Innovation, Interdisciplinarity, Training and “Expertise – Media – Society” project manager in within the framework of the SOUND project.