Keynote Speaker

Pierre-Benoit JolyNINRAE, France

Pierre-Benoit Joly

Pierre-Benoit Joly, economist and sociologist, is Directeur de recherche at the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) in France. He has been the Director of the IFRIS (French Institute for Studies of Research and Innovation in Society) and of Labex (Laboratory of Excellence) SITES from 2011 to 2014 and he is now the director of LISIS (Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés), based at Université Paris Est.

His research is focused on the study of co-production of knowledge and social order. Drawing on a number of empirical studies on the interactions between science, democracy and the market, the aim is to analyze the contemporary transformations of scientific public sphere and new modes of governance of innovation and risk. P.B. Joly has published six books, coordinated four special issues of journals and published more than 110 articles or book chapters. He lectures at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS).

He is a member of the French Academy of Agriculture, member of the council of the European Association for the Studies of Science and Technology (EASST) and of the council of the Science Democracy Network, based at Harvard University.

Talk title: Addressing the challenge of global food security - Why new technologies won’t be enough?


When we adopt the perspective of research labs, we see an acceleration of the production of science and technologies. The so-called Moore Law which states that digital technologies grow at an exponential rate seems to be observed in various areas, including genomics and other -omics. When we adopt the perspective of policy makers or lay citizens, we see growing concerns related to the raise of climate change, biodiversity, waste management, inequalities, etc.

Against this divide, research policies in many parts of the world claim the need for research and innovation to address grand societal challenges. If we take this responsibility of research and innovation, we have to reflect on the reasons why new knowledge and new technologies will not be enough. Drawing on lessons from history of science and technology, I will argue that we have to enlarge our vision of innovation, beyond (new) technology, beyond technological fix or solutionism. We have to challenge the myth of neutrality of technology and take into account the political economy forces that may shape technological trajectories in some undesired directions. And above all, we have to shift form the economy of technoscientific promises to the coproduction of impact.

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