Treasures of daily life in research

Speaker:  Joëlle Le Marec, Université Paris Diderot, CERILAC, Sciences et médias


My purpose was to present a protocol of survey elaborated to study scientific practices through the daily communication situations.

Four years ago, with other researchers of the ENS Lyon, we used this protocol to study the daily life of three research teams in biology and genetics involved in a research program upon resistance to antibiotics. Our goal was to reach a better knowledge of daily research practices under collective programs.

Today, we know quite well what is a “research laboratory”: social relations and networks, working as professional department, writing practices and proliferation of papers and documents, importance of the objects and instruments, etc. But it is still difficult to link clearly the daily life of researchers and the scientificity.

With this aim, we asked self-willed researchers to fully record daily communication situations in which they were involved, and we interviewed them on the basis of those recordings.

Our first results showed how important are the communication situations in the way researchers work alone or together and give meaning to their researches. This survey is a first experiment to test and improve our protocol and hypothesis.

About the Seminar Series

The London PUS seminar is an interdisciplinary intercollegiate seminar concerned with the broad range of topics that fall under the headings of public understanding of science, public engagement with science, science communication, and science-in-society.  It has been run jointly between LSE and UCL since 1993 and is open to all. Our participants predominantly come from a wide range of academic disciplines, and the science policy and science communication/public engagement communities. It is currently supported by the Public Understanding of Science journal published by SAGE and the Department of Science and Technology Studies, UCL.