Michel Dubois

Michel Dubois, PhD

Professional affiliations:


  • Elected Member of the French National Scientific Research Committee, sociology (section 36) and science studies (CID53)
  • Fellowship ICSSR, Fondation MSH, 2013

Research interest:

  • Sociology of Science and Technology
  • Epistemology and Methodology of Science
  • Sociological History and Sociological Theory

Employer name:

  • CNRS


  • Sociology
  • Science & Technology Studies (STS)

Brief biography:

  • Michel Dubois is a CNRS senior research fellow and associate director of EPIDAPO. He received his PhD in 1997 and habilitated in 2008 at Paris Sorbonne University. He is teaching and publishing mainly on issues of sociology of science and technology, epistemology and methodology of social research, sociological history and theory. His most recent publications address issues at the crossroads between sociology and biomedical sciences. Michel Dubois is the managing editor of the European Journal of Sociology and member of the editorial board of the Revue Française de Sociologie. He has been an active member of the French National Scientific Committee (CoNRS) between 2012 and 2016.

Teaching presentations:

  • Paris-Sorbonne University: Doctoral School "Concepts and Languages" - Accredited Research Director
  • Supervision of MS and Ph.D students
  • Lectures and seminars: Sociology of Science and Technology

Selected Publications:

  • DUBOIS Michel, "The Moral Heart of Genomics and the Failures of Liberalism", European Journal of Sociology, 59-3, 2018, pp.517-523
  • DUBOIS Michel, Guaspare C., Louvel S., « De la génétique à l'épigénétique. Une révolution “post-génomique" à l'usage des sociologues », Revue Française de Sociologie, 59, 2018/1, pp.71-98 [ link ] : Abstract : This article examines the impact of the so-called “post-genomic” revolution for the social sciences on the basis of five books published between 2016 and 2017. It is not only a question of introducing the French reader to current debates in the English-speaking world concerning the current redefinition of the boundaries between sociology and biology, but also and above all of contributing to reflection on the evolution of interdisciplinary research practices. Particular attention is given to the emerging field of epigenetics and the way it is represented by these studies as the place par excellence of the post-genomic revolution. The article underlines the importance for sociologists of becoming aware of the opportunities associated with this revolution, as well as being able to free themselves from a certain number of conventional wisdoms. It also stresses the need to maintain a sufficiently critical distance from a “promising” research area.
  • DUBOIS Michel, « Pour une sociologie de la recherche scientifique : Gérard Lemaine et le Groupe d’études et de recherches sur la science », Bulletin de psychologie, 557-5, 2018
  • DUBOIS Michel (with Mesure, S.), The transatlantic circulation of a scientific ethos for sociology: Raymond Boudon’s letters, European Journal of Social Sciences, 56-2, 2018
  • DUBOIS Michel, “Epigenetics and the New Politics of Heredity“, European Journal of sociology, 58, 3, 2017, pp.598-605
  • DUBOIS Michel, « Cela nous a échappé… » : théorie de l’acteur-réseau et le problème des générations scientifiques », Social Science Information,2017, Vol. 56 (1), pp.107–141. [ link ] : Abstract : The present article reviews in detail the generational fate of Actor-Network Theory (AnT). This theory is one of the rare examples of an intellectual product that has managed to transpose into the very general terms of contemporary social theory findings initially elaborated in what is often seen as the confidential field of science and technology studies. Building in particular on MJ Nye’s work on the origins of the social construction of science in order to establish a generational approach to the study of the sciences, the article distinguishes two generations of AnT and highlights the asymmetric character of the intergenerational link between them. In looking back on the principal criticisms of AnT since its creation, the article shows how second-generation AnT – the ‘diaspora’ generation, as Law has termed it (1999) – identifies mostly with a degenerative research program (in Lakatos’ sense, 1978), built around four main types of effect: effects of repetition, of dramatization, of routinization and, finally, of invisibilization of the critical debate.
  • DUBOIS Michel, “Science as Vocation ? Discipline, Profession and Impressionistic Sociology”, ASp - GERAS, vol.69, 2016, pp.21-39. Abstract : Although key categories in sociology since Max Weber, “profession” and “discipline” are often used in a superficial manner, without any rigorous definitions. This article provides examples of impressionistic approaches of those two notions by analyzing studies on the socialisation process in the world of science. Building from E. Freidson (1970 [1984]), Y. Gingras (1991) and R. Stichweh’s (1992) general line of arguments, I propose three main reasons to justify the need to consider “discipline” and “profession” as two distinct phenomena that the sociologist should study from the perspective of their interaction, but also of their transformation.
  • DUBOIS Michel, GINGRAS Yves, ROSENTAL Claude, « Pratiques et rhétoriques de l’internationalisation des sciences », Revue Française de Sociologie, 57-3, 2016, pp.407-415 [ link ]
  • DUBOIS Michel, “Invisible Community and Peerless Science : Case Studies from Morocco and India”, in Manzo G. (ed), Theories and Social Mechanisms : Essays in honour of Mohamed Cherkaoui, Oxford, Bardwell Press, Vol.II, 2015, pp.101-153.
  • DUBOIS Michel, “Academic Freedom or the Risks and Virtues of Non-Neutrality”, European Journal of Sociology, 56-3, 2015, pp.446-453.