Table of Contents What can one man accomplish, even a great man and brilliant scientist? Although every town in France has a street named for Louis Pasteur, was he alone able to stop people from spitting, persuade them to dig drains, influence them to undergo vaccination? It is the operation of these forces, in combination with the talent of Pasteur, that Bruno Latour sets before us as a prime example of science in action. Latour argues that the triumph of the biologist and his methodology must be understood within the particular historical convergence of competing social forces and conflicting interests. Yet Pasteur was not the only scientist working on the relationships of microbes and disease.
|Published (Last):||7 December 2005|
|PDF File Size:||3.14 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||18.53 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
What can we write on the history of invisible microbes? Maybe we can write on how the medical and biological sciences could have dominated and controlled the diseases and the bacteria.
This book is about the complex networks among nature, science, and society, but to clarify the relation of forces, it is divided into two parts, as the French title alludes.
Though they seem to have no direct relations with each other at a glance, two wars have something in common and they meet at a certain point. When the state politics requires healthier people to defend the country and to fight against the enemy, the pasteurization and vaccination science might be one of the strongest solutions.
In that respect, Latour does not think that a revolutionary scientific discovery or invention is the result of a laboratory work by a great scientist alone. Instead, it is a result of the war, where the multiple forces from the social, economic, political, and cultural levels are interconnected. In other words, in order to know what has happened in the war, whether it is the war in the battle field or the war in the laboratory, we should know nothing but the power relation among the actors in the system — who are allies and who are enemies and how they are associated with each other.
That is to say, it is not just one most powerful actor such as a scientist who dominates all other actors in the network. Regarding this matter, Latour describes his method in this book as remaining open so that we do not need to prescribe the role and power of each agent: The method I use does not require us to decide in advance on a list of actors and possible actions.
If we open the scientific literature of the time, we find stories that define for us who are the main actors, what happens to them. Was it the result of a great single genius scientist? Latour argues that, though it is the idea of genius, there should be the diffusion of an idea and the transformation of it to be successfully innovative. Moreover, the diffusion and transformation of the scientific idea was not independent from the social interest.
And the most powerful agent in the diffusion and translation of Pasteurism was hygienists. However, what Latour tries to investigate is neither that society simply constructs the natural reality nor that nature determines social conditions.
When anthrax was pandemic throughout Europe, the most powerful actor was microbes. And, in the process of pasteurization, it was the hygienists who made this scientific experiment a social and political movement. Behind the success of Pasteurism and hygienist movement, there was the Pasteurian strategy which consists of three phases: 1 to move the laboratory to the place where the phenomena to be retranslated are found translation of the laboratory ; 2 to move the phenomena transformed into a safe place, where certainty is increased because they are dominated; 3 to transform the initial conditions in such a way that the work carried out during the second stage will be applicable there The most important effect of the Pasteurian project was that its dominance over nature or science paved the road to its supremacy over the society and politics.
With the Pasteurian innovation, there left nothing untouched by its impact. Though society could put pressure on the scientists to solve the social problem, if the scientists redefined the whole composition in the network through their scientific innovation, science could reverse the direction of pressure. And despite its aphorism-like style, the second part is in accordance with the first part very well. So to speak, Latour seems to repeat the same story differently, on the one hand as a social historian of science and on the other as a political philosopher.
This unique trial might have contributed to his politico-scientific theory of network — if I call like that — coupled with his next work, We Have Never Been Modern.
What can we write on the history of invisible microbes? Maybe we can write on how the medical and biological sciences could have dominated and controlled the diseases and the bacteria. This book is about the complex networks among nature, science, and society, but to clarify the relation of forces, it is divided into two parts, as the French title alludes. Though they seem to have no direct relations with each other at a glance, two wars have something in common and they meet at a certain point.
Bruno Latour – The Pasteurization of France
Biography[ edit ] Latour is related to a well-known family of winemakers from Burgundy , but is not associated with the similarly named estate in Bordeaux. He was deeply influenced by Michel Serres. Latour went on to earn his Ph. He developed an interest in anthropology , and undertook fieldwork in Ivory Coast which resulted in a brief monograph on decolonization, race, and industrial relations. Taylor , on whom Latour has had an important influence.