Suzanne de Cheveigné
I began my career as a physicist in the area of condensed matter physics (for 18 years). My present research concerns the way societies handle scientific, technological and environmental issues. I mainly study media discourse and social practices – my most recent questions are about climate change and fuel poverty – to understand different types of relations to science and technology and to natural environments as well as the requirements – ethical and democratic, among others – that citizens express in these areas. Gender in research is also an important research topic for me. Two years ago, as a consequence of my work on energy poverty, I accepted the chair of a large French NGO, les Compagnons Bâtisseurs, specialized in improving the quality of housing for poor people by actively engaging them in its actions.
WHY AM I INTERESTED IN RESPONSIBLE RESEARCH AND INNOVATION:
Throughout most of my career, I have been working at the interface between the Natural and the Social Sciences, examining issues concerning the social dimensions of science and technology, and bringing together researchers from both sectors. RRI issues are at the core of such questions. Analyzing and explaining them allows scientists to better understand and take on board societal preoccupations, on the one hand, and helps to build trust in science within society on the other. Beyond that, they provide a framework for the necessary debates and political conflicts that science and technology can raise, which are part of the way our democratic societies regulate the activity of their institutions. So, for me, working on RRI issues is really part of understanding the world around us.
WHAT DO I HOPE TO LEARN / CONTRIBUTE AS COUNTRY CORRESPONDENT:
I am particularly motivated by the fact that SUPER MoRRI promises to include a richer research dimension than MoRRI. Such was the case of the MASIS project (under which I co-authored an article in Science and Public Policy entitled “Overview of research related to science in society in Europe”). Although MoRRI provided a rich opportunity to explore RRI issues in France and to collect data, I found it somewhat disappointing in terms of in-depth data analysis so I am glad that this new project is more ambitious. This will be important in intellectual terms but also for the quality of policy recommendations that the project will produce.