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The aim of LISIS research is to understand the social and political transformations linked to scientific and technical innovation in our relationship to the environment, to economic globalization and to the digitization of social and professional worlds. The implications are twofold: first, it involves working on the joint transformations in ways of producing knowledge and forms of governance (through the parallel study of organizations, public policy and the construction of markets). Second, it means analysing these transformations on different scales, conducting research in many types of spaces (from research laboratories or farms to regulatory agencies and international organizations) and combining qualitative research methods with the processing of large bodies of data.

LISIS works across various research fields: farming, environmental studies and life sciences; information and communication technology; environmental health; and emerging technoscience (genomics, nanotechnology, synthetic biology, additive manufacturing, etc.). This diversity offers an exceptional opportunity to develop collective comparative work. Moreover, given the diversity of the social worlds, actors and forms of innovation involved, as well as the significance of scaling effects and transition issues, agriculture provides an excellent laboratory to work on all of the Unit’s research themes.

Given this position, LISIS has a multifaceted activity profile. First, we have a strong requirement for integration within scientific communities and publication within reference academic journals, particularly at international level. Second, some of us are also involved in participant-observation research experiments where the conditions of knowledge production are co-constructed with partners. This dimension of our activities is epistemologically significant, as in some cases engaging in action is a precondition of knowledge production. Third, with the CorText platform and work on science and technology indicators, we are developing an intense IT design and programming activity that is contributing to the continuous improvement of its tools. These developments also support important work to build reference databases, now pooled in the EU infrastructure project RISIS. Finally, LISIS researchers’ expertise is regularly sought by public authorities at regional, national, and EU level.

This project is organized according to the four main research areas of LISIS:

Research Area 1. Transitions, emergence, transformations

Research Area 2. Socialization and re-appropriation of innovations

Research Area 3. Evaluation and valuation of innovations

Research Area 4. Analysis of the digital traces of science in society