The Cetcopra founded in 1989 by Pr Alain Gras, its director until 2010, is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to socio-anthropological and philosophical research on contemporary and emerging technologies. Three distinctive features characterize its approach.
An object-centered approach. Airplanes, videogames, softwares, medical imaging techniques, biometric devices, biomarkers and prostheses, plastic waste… each case study is an attempt to disentangle the interaction between technological objects, society and nature. How do artefacts reconfigure social relationships, subjectivities and public policies ? What views of nature do they convey in their design and their uses ?
Field enquiry : Cetcopra researchers start their investigations by field immersion for observing the actors, learning their language, entering into a dialogue, understanding their views, and interpret them through various perspectives. The empirical approach is not driven by an overarching a priori theroretical model. Rather an appropriate theroretical framework is tailored for each case study.
Questioning technology: The goal of the Cetcopra in approaching new objects is to identify the issues raised by emerging technologies. We focus on the problems raised by their implementation in a community of practioners, or on the tensions upstream in the design process. In any case we question the cultural impacts, the synergistic effects or radical changes. The overall objective of the Cetcopra is to develop a critical reflection on emerging technologies and to encourage a more reflexive attitude among the various actors of technological innovation (scientists, engineers, manufacturers, decision-makers, and users).
The CETCOPRA (EA 2483) is presently chaired by Pr Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent.
It is part of the UFR of Philosophy of University Paris1, and it is closely associated with the Service général des sciences sociales
It gathers sociologists, philosophers, political scientists, communication scientists, engineers and medical doctors.
The Cetcopra being part of the Doctoral Program in Philosophy of University Paris1, Panthéon-Sorbonne, le CETCOPRA is in charge of the specialty socio-anthropologie des techniques within the option option philosophie et société, of the Master in philosophy
Teaching missions :
-Initiation to the Sociology and Philosophy of technology.
- research training through field work supervised by a member of the laboratory
-PhD students are supervised for research on aviation, health and environment technologies, nanotechnology and biotechnology. The Cetcopra hosts 17 PhD students in December 2012 plus 2 post-doc students.