Adeline Barbin

Philosophy Lecturer and Doctoral Student, Philosophy Department
Paris | Panthéon-Sorbonne University,
Panthéon-Sorbonne University

CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies, Office for the History of Science and Technology
Affiliation period: January 2013 - June 2013

Dissertation Title: Technical Democracy: on a Democratic Supervision of Technical Objects and Innovations

Degrees Master of Philosophy :: University of Panthéon-Sorbonne (France) (2010)
Agrégation of Philosophy :: Panthéon-Sorbonne University (2009)
Research Areas

▪ Political philosophy
▪ Sociology and philosophy of sciences, philosophy of technology and Science and Technology Studies
▪ Ecology and global warming issues.

I am a French PhD student and Philosophy lecturer in Paris (University of Panthéon-Sorbonne). The title of my PhD dissertation is Technical Democracy: on a Democratic Supervision of Technical Objects and Innovations. My research examines the extent to which citizens can be involved in decision-making process about sciences and technologies. Thus, I work on relationship between science, technology and democracy. I have a philosophical background, so I try to blend political philosophy, philosophy of knowledge and STS.

My aspiration is to develop the concept of what is called “technical democracy”. It is based on the idea that technology’s democratic control requires exploring the distinction between scientific and political rationalities and between scientist and layman. The purpose is to discover if this democratic control is possible and, if so, how. Indeed, we know technology has social implications and this prompt us to control innovations. Autonomous technology’s thesis being questioned makes credible this will. But we need to dig further in order to tackle the democratic issue: we need to know if the very concept of scientific rationality has a meaning or if it is partly a way to exclude the public from decision-making process about the world in which it lives. It also entails to examine how citizens’ involvement could have actual effects instead of being social discontentment management tool. Such a control cannot be limited to acceptance or denial of a technology when first reaching the market: this is the theme of the “upstream engagement” which requires studying how technological objects and systems are created; how they integrate social values and norms; and how we can anticipate the social effects they will generate.


André Gorz, Travail, économie et liberté (Work, Economics and Freedom), éd. Scérén (CNDP-CRDP), in press.

Journals with referees

« Un nouveau régime de production des savoirs » I et II - « A New Regime of Knowledge Production »
Implications philosophiques (on-line review), « Les mutations du monde de la recherche », to be published.


David Estlund, L’autorité de la démocratie (Democratic Authority: A Philosophical Framework), trad. Yves Meinard, Paris, Hermann, 2011, Implications philosophiques, 23 mars 2012.


« La citoyenneté face à la rationalité scientifique et technique » - « Citizenship facing scientific and technical rationality »
XXXIVe congrès de l’ASPLF (Association des Sociétés de Philosophie en Langue Française) sur le thème de la citoyenneté, Bruxelles-Louvain-la-Neuve, 23 août 2012.

« Action et responsabilité à la lumière de la notion de pratico-inerte (Marx, Sartre, Gorz) » - « Action and responsability in the light of the notion of « practical inertia » (Marx, Sartre, Gorz) »
Dans le cadre de la Journée d’études « Action et responsabilité : Arendt, Sartre, Hegel », Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, 12 juin 2012.
« La démocratie technique : état des savoirs et essai de définition » - « Technical Democracy: Walkthrough and Research Leads »
Séminaire doctoral de l’équipe NoSoPhi, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, 11 janvier 2012.

« Pourquoi la question des rapports entre science et démocratie se pose-t-elle ? » - « Why Should We Discuss the Relationship between Science and Democracy? »
Journées doctorales de philosophie de l’Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, 3 juin 2011.

« Les relations entre science et citoyen : quel apport des conférences de citoyens ? » - « Relationship between Science and Politics: which Contribution from the Consensus Conferences? »
Journées doctorales du laboratoire Philosophies Contemporaines, 30 avril 2011.

Scientific Diffusion

« André Gorz, une histoire du travail » - « André Gorz, An History of Work »
Présentation et débat dans le cadre du Festival Bobines Sociales, Paris, 21 janvier 2012.

last updated: November 26th, 2013

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