A Socioenvironmental Shale Gas Controversy: Scientists’ Public Communications, Social Responsibility and Collective Versus Individual Positions

Gregoire Molinatti, Lionel Simonneau

In this case study, we analyze the discourse, practices and representations of a group of scientists who issued public statements about the French shale gas controversy. The reasons they gave for engaging in this process of communication focused on their social responsibility, their collective ad hoc expertise and the neutrality of their position. We also investigated how these scientists actually produced their communications, despite the tensions between individual and collective positions. We discuss how this experience led them to reflect both individually and collectively on their representations of science in society.

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