The direction of scientific research is decided upon in laboratories, by highly specialised scientists. Society is never present at this stage, either via political representation or direct democracy. However, few decisions engage the future of humanity as deeply and as long as the decisions that orient the dynamics of techno-science.
Via the PROMETEE project, we are attempting to introduce social participation and collective decision-making on the choices faced by laboratory researchers, i.e. choices on matters definitively incomprehensible for everyone apart from the highly specialised scientific community involved each time. This methodological experiment in techno-scientific democracy will ideally lead to a guide for organising public participation in the scientific black box.
Michalis Lianos (AD, RG) is Professor at the University of Rouen-Haute Normandie and Head of Public Engagement of the European Sociological Association. He was previously Lecturer at the University of London (Goldsmiths College), Director of the “Centre for Empirically Informed Social Theory” (CEIST) at the University of Portsmouth and Editor of the journal European Societies (2015-2022). He currently leads the social part of a the science-in-society project PROMETEE.
Michalis has been working on various parts of an empirically informed theory of the transformation of the social bond in late modernity, initially based on his work on social control and normativity. The latest parts of this work are on conflict and democracy. Among other projects, he co-ordinated the European project “Uncertainty and Insecurity in Europe” and co-directed the European Observatory on Liberty and Security at the Paris Institute of Political Science. He was also main partner on the Integrated’ European Project “The Changing Landscape of European Liberty and Security” and jointly in charge of the conceptual framework of the Integrated’ European Project « A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict ».
Michalis is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the University of Portsmouth and has held several visiting positions. He holds an Honours Degree in Law from the University if Athens, a Master’s in Law from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in Political Sociology from the University of Paris 7 – Denis Diderot.