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Benjamin Raimbault

Academic Researcher at the ESIEE Paris


Benjamin Raimbault graduated as an engineer from AgroParisTech (2012) and obtained a PhD in sociology from the Université Paris-Est Marne la Vallée (2018), writing his thesis under the direction of Pierre-Benoît Joly. In 2016, he was a fellow of the Science and Technology Studies program at Harvard University directed by Sheila Jasanoff. Between 2019 and 2021, Benjamin received an IFRIS postdoctoral grant for research carried out at the Cermes2. Since 2021, he has been involved in the Ways-Out project supervised by Bruno Turnheim, which looks at the phenomenon of destabilization and the modalities of governing the discontinuation of established sociotechnical systems, focused specifically on the case of the meat industry since the end of the 1970s.

Benjamin’s thesis looks at the socio-history of bioengineering between France and the United States. The bioengineering industry enabled him to revisit the history and forms of relations between science and industry since the 1980s, in France and the United States. This thesis therefore offers a multilevel socio-history of knowledge production, focusing on the establishment of communities of scholars, academics, or industry stakeholders that have adopted bio-engineering approaches. In doing so, it partially revisits the goal of the sociology of scientific disciplines, by insisting on the transformation of ways of coordinating and regulating scientific work as a part of the so-called ‘knowledge economy’. Attention to social processes over the medium term allows the author to temper the promises of novelty (in particular those of synthetic biology) while describing actual transformations in actors’ practices and institutional agencing.

His current research studies the knowledge and expertise developed in the context of contemporary transformations in industrial activities faced with ecological and environmental crises (industrial biotechnology, life-cycle analysis, methanation). More broadly, he collaborates with other colleagues in the goal of moving beyond industry as a historical period in order to think of industrialization as a set of long-term processes (standardization, optimization, rationalization of work). He co-directs the “(Dé)Faire l’industrie” seminar on these topics at the EHESS.

Main research areas:

  • Emerging scientific disciplines
  • Science-industry relations
  • Science and technology studies (STS) and expertise
  • Bioengineering/biotechnology/bioeconomics
  • The ecologization of industry
  • Transformation of industries and environmental crises


2016 Raimbault, B., Cointet, J.P., & Joly, P.B. “Mapping the Emergence of Synthetic Biology”, PloS one, 11(9), e0161522.


2014 Baudrin, M., Dauguet, B., Deias, D., & Raimbault, B. “On n’est pas des cow-boys. Controverse sur l’exploitation des gaz de schiste et stratégie de l’industrie pétrolière”, Revue d’anthropologie des connaissances, 8(2), p. 451-478.


2013 Raimbault, B., Cointet, J.P., & Joly, P.B. “Caractérisation du processus d’émergence de la biologie synthétique à partir d’une approche scientométrique”, Médecine/sciences, 29, p. 47-55.


2021 Raimbault, B., Joly, P.B. “The Emergence of Technoscientific Fields and the New Political Sociology of Science”, in Molyneux-Hodgson, S., Kastenhofer, K., Sociology of the Sciences, Yearbook.


2020 Raimbault, B. “Le tournant biotechnologique à l’épreuve de la production de la méthionine. Une relecture de la relation entre production de savoir et construction de marché dans l’économie de la connaissance (Chapitre 8)” in E. Kessous and J.P. Nau (2020, forthcoming) Les technologies et le gouvernement des marchés. Des algorithmes aux biotechnologies, p. 165‐185.  
2016 Aguilar Gayard, N., Mirmalek, Z., Raimbault, B., Tanferri, M. “A utopia of presence: (re)situating places, times and people in our desired worlds”, in Um convite à Utopia, Editora da Universidade Estadual da Paraíba (EDUEPB), p. 169-203.


RAFE 2021 “Birch, K. Neoliberal Bio-Economies”, Springer. Book review published in the Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies.  


EHESS 2020-2021 Co-organizer of the “(Dé)Faire l’industrie” seminar, UE189, EHESS. This seminar studies transformations in forms of industry by looking at three broad questions: what territories are produced by displacements and reconfigurations of industrial activities? How is the incorporation of information technologies redefining the frontiers of blue-collar work? In these reconfigurations, what resists industrialization processes?