Session 4.3

Chemistry and Society: intensifying the dialogue


Science in society, public debate, dialogue, academic and industrial chemists, ethics, whistleblowers, precautionary principle, etc…


Andrée MARQUET (Sorbonne Université, Chimie et Société/Fondation Maison de la Chimie, Paris, FR), Jean-Michel LEFOUR (Chimie et Société/Fondation Maison de la Chimie, Paris, FR), André CICOLLELA (Réseau Environnement Santé, Paris, FR), Esther GAUDREAULT (Associat. Francophone pour le Savoir-Acfas, Montréal, CA)


  • KN: Yves GINGRAS (Professor of history and sociology of science and technology, University of Québec at Montréal, CA)

  • IL1: Pierre BURELLI (President, Dow France, FR)

  • IL2: Pelle MOOS (Senior safety and health policy officer, BEUC, European consumer organization, BE)

Panel Discussion


  • Mathieu VIDARD (France-Inter, Paris, FR)

Invited panelists:

  • Ulrike FELT (Professor of science and technology studies, University of Vienna, AT)

  • Bernard FERINGA (Professor of molecular sciences, Nobel Prize 2016 in chemistry, University of Groningen, NL)

  • Liz HARRIMAN (Deputy-director of Massachusetts TURI, Toxic Use Reduction Institute, USA)

  • Stéphane HOREL (Investigative reporter, FR)

  • Corinne LEPAGE (Member of the European Parliament, President of LRC - Cap21, FR)  

  • Pelle MOOS (Senior safety and health policy officer, European consumer organization, BEUC, BE)

  • Thorsten PINKEPANK (Director Sustainability Relations, BASF, DE)

  • Richard THOMMERET (Research and innovation communication director, Solvay, BE) 


Symposium Conclusion

  • Cédric VILLANI (Professor of mathematics, Fields Medal 2010, French Parliamentary Office for Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Options, FR)


Many public debates address “science and society” topics, but they are often considered inefficient, both by experts who believe that their role is only to provide "objective" information, and by citizens who feel manipulated. What should be changed in the debate organization and the mindsets to improve exchange? This part will be discussed by invited contributions from a sociologist and/or a science philosopher. A round table, involving industrial and academic chemists, sociologists, journalists and NGO representatives, will address these problems and analyze the difficulties as well as successful experiences from which guidelines could be identified for developing and improving the dialogue.