Epistemic commitments. Making relevant science

Abstract : We contribute to the exploration of diversity in interdisciplinary science by elaborating the notion of epistemic commitments to address researchers’ different views of knowledge that matters and how these views are embedded in research practices and networks. Based on previous science and technology studies and science-policy literature, we define epistemic commitments as reflexive commitments to regimes of relevant research. Drawing on an in-depth enquiry in the case of biodiversity studies in France, we describe four regimes of research, each of them bringing together certain disciplinary approaches and technologies, certain scenarios about environmental changes (from species loss to an explosion of ecological engineering possibilities) and certain contributions to decision making and management. We distinguish between an environmentalist regime, a management-oriented regime, a function-based regime, and an ecoengineering regime. We give insights into how researchers’ commitments to these regimes are shaped, stabilized, and maintained over time, suggesting the coevolution of research practices, practical contributions, and environmental scenarios. We emphasize pluralism rather than hegemony of a type of knowledge over the others. Our results show that environmental research’s diversity does not result only from the complexity of reality itself but is also embedded in various views of scientific advancement, future scenarios, and useful contributions to environmental governance.
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Contributor : Céline Granjou <>
Submitted on : Friday, February 24, 2017 - 4:09:30 PM
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  • HAL Id : halshs-01476186, version 1



Céline Granjou, Isabelle Arpin. Epistemic commitments. Making relevant science. Science, Technology, and Human Values, SAGE Publications, 2015, 40 (6), pp.1022- 1046. ⟨halshs-01476186⟩



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