Experts in: Science and technology studies
My research concerns the history and sociology of science and technology and, more specifically, since 1990, the history and sociology of cyberculture. I began by conducting in-depth research into the origins of personal informatics, by describing the evolution of Douglas Engelbart’s laboratory at the Stanford Research Institute and how his ideas and creations (the mouse, the proto graphic interface, hypertext) migrated to Xerox PARC and Apple. Since 2001 I have been extending this work with research into the other fundamental evolution of cybernetic synthesis, i.e. molecular biology, by reconstructing its recent history from its lesser-known side, the “non-coding” part of DNA, which American researchers dubbed “junk DNA.” This research was published in 2011 by the University of Minnesota Press, as Junkware. Since 2008 I have been concentrating on combining my analyses of these two cybernetic evolutions, informatics and molecular biology, for a study of the issue of post-humanity, or more generally the engineering of the post-human (but also post-animal and post-machine) creature.
I am currently completing a research program funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, entitled “Post-animaux : ce que les animaux technologiquement modifiés peuvent nous révéler du futur (post)humain.” My goal is to make a “detour via animals” to develop an ethnographic view of bio-engineering without analyzing the essentially discursive practices of bioethics and science fiction.
- Science and technology studies
- Peer production
- Participatory design / User-centered design
- Organizational communication
- Digital technologies
- Citizen sciences
- Scientific communication
- Theatre studies
My research interests revolve around collaboration, in particular the role of technologies that organize and channel it. I explore the transformations brought about by the use of information and communication technologies in groups and organizations. I prefer to work on projects that bring together researchers from several disciplines. For instance, I am currently working with CIRST (Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et les technologies) researchers and with the Faculty of Environmental Design here at the Université de Montréal. I have a special interest in situations involving heterogeneous collaboration, where the participants are encouraged to share different types of expertise and viewpoints. My focus is on socio-technical innovation. At present this consists of a study of relationships and the circulation of knowledge between users and developers of Web 2.0 (participatory Web) technologies.