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Louis Pasteur ou l’entreprise scientifique au temps du capitalisme industriel

Abstract : A critical political economy of science has recently developed to analyze the neoliberal turn and its impact on scientific disciplines. However, it tends to neglect the long-term economic history of science, which can shed a crucial light on recent developments. Through the study of Louis Pasteur’s scientific business, this article shows how the question of the economic rewards of scientific work was posed from the rise of industrial capitalism in the nineteenth century. It analyzes the way in which Pasteur defended his scientific property, a means of claiming control over his discoveries. Studying the relationship between the development of industrial science and capitalism highlights the logic of action at the heart of Pasteur’s scientific enterprise, which took shape during his early career in capitalist northern France. This logic was reinforced in the 1860s, when the distinction between science and industry was formalized at the legal level. It gave Pasteur a means of defending his scientific property and his rights, both economic and intellectual, over the results of his work. The final section of the article examines how Pasteur reinvested these profits, whether to create a commercial company or to create the Institute that bears his name. His entrepreneurial initiatives thus emerge as a process of accumulation that thrived on this creative ambivalence.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 4:24:41 PM
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Gabriel Galvez-Behar. Louis Pasteur ou l’entreprise scientifique au temps du capitalisme industriel. Annales. Histoire, Sciences sociales, Armand Colin, 2018, 73 (3), pp.629-656. ⟨10.1017/ahss.2019.46⟩. ⟨halshs-01267638v5⟩



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