Publié par : GM | février 5, 2015

Prochaine communication : Journées Internationales de sociologie, Université François Rabelais, Tours, du 1 au 3 juillet 2015

Title : « The energy issue and the scientific practices overhaul: « Radical interdisciplinary » between social and engineering sciences »


  • Géraldine Molina, doctor in Geography, Spatial planning – Urban planning, post-doctoral fellow at IRSTV (FR CNRS 2488) at CERMA (ENSAN – UMR CNRS 1563).
  • Anne Bernabé, PhD student at IRSTV (FR CNRS 2488) and at LEEHA (ECN – UMR CNRS 6598)
  • Marjorie Musy, doctor of Civil Engineering, accredited research director, researcher at CERMA (ENSAN – UMR CNRS 1563), Associate Director of IRSTV (FR CNRS 2488)

Keywords: scientific practices, interdisciplinary dynamics, working methods, methodology, disciplinary identity

Axes concerned: 1 / methodology, foresight, reflexivity, 2 / work and professional groups


For several years, the energy transition is becoming a major issue for the spatial planning and management at different scales (national, regional, local, micro-local, city, city blocks, buildings, etc.). This emerging issue induced strong professional re-compositions for the actors involved in spatial planning, but also for researchers who are interested in energy issues. « Hybrid object » (Latour 1999), the energy issue intensely poses for researchers the questions of disciplinary interfaces and of theirs relationships to professional groups engaged in urban planning. Recent collectives researches lead on energy and developed at different scales [2] are based on new interfaces created between social sciences (sociology, anthropology, geography) and physical sciences or engineering sciences (the atmospheric physics, urban engineering or building energy management).

 This contribution proposes to clarify the process of radical interdisciplinary. Those dynamics imply researchers from different scientific traditions and disciplinary families that are unaccustomed to interact together and whose objects, cultures and methods differ fundamentally. Our aim is to precise : What are the differences in the disciplinary tropisms and the scientific cultures that occur in these new interdisciplinary consortia? What are comfort zones and blind spots of these disciplinary skills? What are the friction points in terms of methodological innovation generated by the meeting of these different scientific worlds around the issues of energy? How the knowledge, tools and methods of these researchers are articulated? And finally, what is the posture adopted by these two scientists entities when conducting research with professionals? This contribution offers a cross-analysis of methods of science production based on feedbacks of several collaborative researches on the energy issue involving collaboration between social sciences and physical sciences or engineering sciences.

[1] G. Molina, V. Masson, A. Bernabé, J. Hidalgo, « Quand une question environnementale bouleverse les pratiques scientifiques : interdisciplinarité et interprofessionnalité radicales autour du climat urbain », article to be published.

[2] Including the folowing programs : ANR MaPuce, ANR ENERGIHAB, ANR VegDUD, ANR MUSCADE, ANR ACCLIMAT, or the TIPEE platform


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