Techno-criticism as a tool for building sustainable research

Speakers: Guillaume Guimbretiere (LACy), Benjamin Pillot (Espace-Dev)

Date and place: November 25, 2022, 11am, OSU-R room, S4B building, Moufia Campus

Vidéotransmission:  Meeting ID: 894 9063 2155

Seminar summary:

Like our society, of which it is a component, contemporary research is not sustainable. This obvious fact calls into question the future of observation programs and networks conceived within the problematic paradigm of unlimited growth in a world of limited resources.

In order to make progress towards the renewal of a Sustainable Science in the long term, in this work we tackle the problem of resource consumption from the point of view of the scientific technological regime. Indeed, it is technology (defined here as the tool that enables a human community to interact with its environment) that defines the level of resources required to satisfy an expressed need.

The low-tech approach, which is becoming increasingly visible, is the contemporary expression of a historical techno-critical current of thought that enables us to discern the nature and uses of sustainable technology. Over the past two years, we have scoured an abundance of literature and identified key concepts that enable us to judiciously question the sustainability of our research instruments and structures. However, moving from a techno-critical stance to an operational approach for the development of a sober and sustainable scientific protocol or instrumentation is not an easy task, and needs to be worked on. As part of the “Frugalité – Sobriété” AAP of the CNRS MITI (, we propose to approach the question of Sobriété from a technical angle, with the construction of an operational techno-critical method. We are opening up our working group to colleagues interested in co-constructing this method as a response to the question “How, in concrete terms, can we develop low-tech instrumentation for inclusion in sustainable scientific programs?