Political Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences (PARISS)

I’ve recently be asked to be part of the editorial board of the newly founded journal “Political, Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences” (P.A.R.I.S.S.).

The journal aims to encourage scholars to write across disciplines, academic cultures and writing styles in order to open up orthodox conventions based on assumptions about what proper scholarship should do. Similar to questions of nature that cannot be neatly separated into categories of chemistry, biology or physics, we believe that the social sciences require transversal sites for thought and practice. P.A.R.I.S.S. is such a site. Our journal constitutes a step towards transversality and de-disciplinarization, bringing together multiple disciplines in an effort to transcend them.

See the homepage of the journal

The Expert Network (presentation for EASST 2018)

Conference of the European Association of Studies of Science and Technology, 25-28 July, Lancaster UK

The IPCC is a fascinating institutional puzzle. Despite its gruelling mission (maintaining a dialogue on climate change between the academic community and world governments), the IPCC have prospered for three decades and five assessment cycles. In thirty years, the organisation has thrived under all respects: and established itself as the interface between scientific research and diplomatic negotiations. Most amazingly, such expansion has not been accompanied by an institutional hardening of its organisation. The IPCC remains “network organisation” with no permanent organs and no lifelong employees (apart from a small Secretariat). Rather than on a professional bureaucracy, the IPCC has based its success on a vast and complex system of practices and procedures that facilitate the net-work of its contributors. To shed lights on this network architecture, we build a database containing the names, the roles, the national and institutional affiliations of all the individuals who have contributed to the IPCC. In this presentation, we discuss a few preliminary and exploratory visualisations extracted from the analysis of such dataset.

Download the slides of the presentation

4S-EASST Conference


This year (2016) I intervened at the 4S-EASST Conference with two different presentations:

1. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde IPCC and the Double Logic of International Expertise
See the slides

2. Actor‐Network Theory VS Network Analysis VS Digital Networks Are We Talking About the Same Networks?
See the slides
Read the paper

Making climate negotiations public


An article presenting the work that I have done with the OpenKnowledgeFoundation on the various versions of the UNFCCC COP21 agreement.

Read the article

Medusa at the Hairdresser


The conference I gave at the SPRU Freeman Friday Seminars at the University of Sussex on March 27 2015 (stirring quite a bit of controversy…).

In the last few years, our societies have been confronted to a new kind of problems. Our planet – once so vast and unexplored – seems to have shrunk around us constraining our actions with its multiple ecological and economical fragilities. Welcome to the Anthropocene! After centuries spent in trying to rule the world, we suddenly realize how tiny is our kingdom and, as the air fill with CO2, how suffocating is its atmosphere. What’s worse, we find ourselves utterly unprepared to deal with the situation we have created. The more we strive to force the knots we tied, the more they seem to tighten around us. The knots that hold us cannot be slashed, but (and it’s our only hope) they might be untied. The fabric of our natural and social interdependencies is complex, but not impenetrable. And this is where social sciences may help, by hijacking one of the strongest forces of modernization (the proliferation of digital inscriptions) and turning it into a source of understanding. Turning inscriptions into traces, and following them as threads through the maze of collective life, we can try to unfold the complexity of our small world and learn to live with it.

See the slides of the conference

Understanding Climate Negotiations Controversies


A introduction to the twists and turns of the climate negotiations and to the datasets that can be used to cover them that I gave to a little crowd of data-journalists from several French news outlets.

See the website of the event

See the presentations of the project developed by the participants



A tool that I’ve been developing for a few years with Mathieu Jacomy (in fact he has done most of the actual developing). Sciencescape is a great little tool for performing simple scientometrics analysis from Scopus or Web of Science data. The last additions is the module ‘Referenscape’ that allows to extract heterogenous bibliometrics maps based on co-citations.

Use the Scienscape

Watch an how-to video

Politiques de la Terre – Politics of the Earth


Since the industrial revolution, the Earth may have entered the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch in which humans would be the main actors of the planet changes.  The term Anthropocene indicates a new phase in relations between a planet governed by physical and biological laws – the Earth system – and a set of human societies engaged in conflicting relations of domination governed by economic, social or political laws – the World system. But as this transformation requires rethinking the scales and the dynamics of collective action, it imposes rethink jointly the World and the Earth. Such is the general objective of the “Politics of the Earth” interdisciplinary program.

See the project website

Does television reflect the evolution of scientific knowledge?


Bourdaa, M., Konsman, J. P., Secail, C., Venturini, T., Veyrat-Masson, I., & Gonon, F. (2013). Does television reflect the evolution of scientific knowledge? The case of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder coverage on French television. Public Understanding of Science. doi:10.1177/0963662513484842

Biomedical findings mature from uncertain observations to validated facts. Although subsequent studies often refute initial appealing findings, newspapers privilege the latter and often fail to cover refutations. Thus, biomedical knowledge and media reporting may diverge with time. Here we investigated how French television reported on three scientific questions relative to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) from 1995 to 2010.

Download the preprint

ASP The Construction of Innovation Networks


In 2012 and 2013, I have been responsible for organizing the module on Innovation Networks at the the Alta Scuola Politecnica gathering the 150 best students of the Politecnico di Milano and Politecnico di Torino. In a week-long intensive workshop, the students learn about Science and Technology Studies and Digital Methods perform the analysis of an innovation network.

See one of the lessons that I have given at ASP

Controversies Design


Since 2010, I have been teaching Controversy Mapping and Science and Technology Studies (25h course) in the design workshop of Density Design at the University of the Politecnico of Milano.

See the webpage of the course in 2010, 2011, 2012
See the videos produced by the students

Verba Volant, Scripta Manent The discontinuity effect of explicit media


Venturini, T. (2007). Verba Volant, Scripta Manent: The Discontinuity Effect of Explicit Media. American Behavioral Scientist50(7), 879–896. doi:10.1177/0002764206298313

It is commonly recognized that different social configurations tend to be associated with different types of innovation. Not surprisingly, linear innovations are more likely to be produced by communities of strong and homogeneous ties; while radical innovations are more likely to originate from networks of weak and diverse connections. Yet, there is a second and subtler linkage between social patterns and innovation types: a junction which depends on the nature of the media available to different groups. The key role is played by explicitness. Communities, being relatively homogeneous, can rely on implicit forms of communication, while networks require explicit channels and languages to relate their highly diverse components. This difference in media explicitness tends to produce a difference in innovation styles. According to the main hypothesis of this paper, the more explicit are the media available to a group, the more discontinuous and radical will be the innovation generated. The discontinuity effect of explicit media will be explained with examples drawn from the history of media and technologies and some empirical ground will be provided through the analysis of a much-discussed case of biopiracy.

Download the preprint