BRUNO LATOUR THE PASTEURIZATION OF FRANCE PDF

Table of Contents What can one man accomplish, even a great man and brilliant scientist? Although every town in France has a street named for Louis Pasteur, was he alone able to stop people from spitting, persuade them to dig drains, influence them to undergo vaccination? It is the operation of these forces, in combination with the talent of Pasteur, that Bruno Latour sets before us as a prime example of science in action. Latour argues that the triumph of the biologist and his methodology must be understood within the particular historical convergence of competing social forces and conflicting interests. Yet Pasteur was not the only scientist working on the relationships of microbes and disease. How was he able to galvanize the other forces to support his own research?

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Shelves: culture-critique , history , phil-of-science , sociology , europe This is a wonderful book by Latour, published close to his Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society although translated into English later. But the sociology of the sciences is too often powerless, because it thinks it knows what society is made up of.

Faithful to its tradition, it usually defines society as made up of groups, interests, intentions, and conflicts of interest… The exact sciences elude social analysis not because they are distant or separated from society, but because they revolutionize the very conception of society and of what it comprises.

The temporal framework itself is useless. What makes the history of the sciences - so respectable elsewhere - usually disappointing is that it sets out from time in order to explain the agents and their movements, whereas the temporal framework merely registers after the event the victory of certain agents. If we really wanted to explain history, we would have to accept the lesson that the actors themselves give us. Just as they made their societies, they also made their own history.

The actors periodize with all their might. They give themselves periods, abolish them, and alter them, redistributing responsibilities, naming the "reactionaries," the "moderns," the "avant-garde," the "forerunners," just like a historian no better, no worse. We ought to ask history to display the same humility that we have asked sociology to do. Just as we asked sociology to abandon its "social groups" and its "interests" and to allow the actors to define themselves, we ought to ask history to abandon its "periods," its "high points," its "development," and its "great breaks.

In order to discover the "true" agent, it is necessary in addition to show that the new translation also includes all the manifestations of the earlier agents and to put an end to the argument of those who want to find it other names. To discover is not to lift the veil.

It is to construct, to relate, and then to "place under. It was simply in the offices of the Ministry of Agriculture, obtained by movements of civil servants, researchers, and inspectors, which made it possible to obtain the mortality figures and, in a single spot, the statistics. But this affirmative is also accompanied by a lot of accessories.

Once the statistical apparatus that reveals the danger of anthrax and the efficacy of the vaccine, has been stabilized, once at the Institut Pasteur the procedures for weakening, conditioning, and sending the vaccine microbe have been stabilized, once Pasteur has linked his bacillus with each of the movements made by the "anthrax," then and only then is the double impression made: the microbe has been discovered and the vaccine is distributed everywhere.

This double projection in time and space is not false; it only takes long, like any projection in the cinema, to construct, to focus, and to tune. I would be prepared to say that Pasteur had "really discovered" the truth of the microbe at last, if the word "true" would add more than confusion.

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Bruno Latour

Biography[ edit ] Latour is related to a well-known family of winemakers from Burgundy , but is not associated with the similarly named estate in Bordeaux. He was deeply influenced by Michel Serres. Latour went on to earn his Ph. He developed an interest in anthropology , and undertook fieldwork in Ivory Coast which resulted in a brief monograph on decolonization, race, and industrial relations. Taylor , on whom Latour has had an important influence. Latour rose in importance[ citation needed ] following the publication of Laboratory Life: the Social Construction of Scientific Facts with co-author Steve Woolgar. In the book, the authors undertake an ethnographic study of a neuroendocrinology research laboratory at the Salk Institute.

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The Pasteurization of France

Shelves: culture-critique , history , phil-of-science , sociology , europe This is a wonderful book by Latour, published close to his Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society although translated into English later. But the sociology of the sciences is too often powerless, because it thinks it knows what society is made up of. Faithful to its tradition, it usually defines society as made up of groups, interests, intentions, and conflicts of interest… The exact sciences elude social analysis not because they are distant or separated from society, but because they revolutionize the very conception of society and of what it comprises. The temporal framework itself is useless. What makes the history of the sciences - so respectable elsewhere - usually disappointing is that it sets out from time in order to explain the agents and their movements, whereas the temporal framework merely registers after the event the victory of certain agents. If we really wanted to explain history, we would have to accept the lesson that the actors themselves give us. Just as they made their societies, they also made their own history.

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