- Alumni & Donors
- The Research Project
- The Team
A pioneering interdisciplinary approach
- The investigational device
Silicosis is an innovative new research project combining history, medicine and the social sciences. The project deals with one of the deadliest occupational diseases in history, silicosis, caused by the inhalation of crystalline silica dust particles.
Directed by Paul-André Rosental, the five-year project was launched in June 2012, funded by a European Research Council Advanced Grant and based at Sciences Po’s Center for European Studies, in association with the Center for History. ERC Advanced Grants allow exceptional, established research leaders to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk projects that open new directions in research.
In addition to Professor Rosental, the Silicosis team is composed of two sociologists, a pulmonologist, a mineralogist, a post-doctoral researcher in historical demography and a project officer. The medical aspect of the project is carried out in collaboration with the Minapath laboratory of the Centre Hospitalier St Joseph-St Luc in Lyon.
Silicosis: a ‘negotiated’ disease
One of the world’s oldest industrial diseases, silicosis was traditionally widespread in many industries (from construction to glasswork, stonecutting and sandblasting) – although mainly identified with mining in the public imagination.
Catherine Cavalin is the SILICOSIS team’s sociologist and statistician, and is also an associate researcher at the Centre d’études de l’emploi (Ministry of Research, Ministry of Labor and Employment). For SILICOSIS, she is in charge of producing statistical results which highlight correlations between working conditions and diseases. She uses data from existing surveys and works on new tools to examine these matters for statistical as well as clinical purposes. This includes the development of a new questionnaire on health status (particularly systemic inflammatory diseases of unknown causes) and exposure to inorganic particles.
Paul-André Rosental is Professor of Contemporary History at Sciences Po and associate researcher at the Institut National d’Etudes Démographiques (INED). He specialises in the history and social policy of populations (demography policies, social and sanitary policies), an area in which he directs the research team Esopp. At Sciences Po’s Center for European Studies and in association with the Center for History, he directs the ERC Senior Advanced Grant “From silicosis to silica hazards” (the SILICOSIS project), which combines the disciplines of history, medicine and the social sciences.
PhD in sociology, Odile Macchi is scientific collaborator of the SILICOSIS project at the Centre d'Etudes Européennes de Sciences Po (CEE). She is also research fellow at the Centre d'Etudes des Mouvements Sociaux (CEMS) of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales.
For SILICOSIS, she particularly conducts interviews for the PEDIASARC study on inorganic dust exposure ot patients with pediatric sarcoidosis.
She was a stage director and created multimedia installations based on ethnographic studies on the conditions of survival in the contemporary society.
Dr Michel Vincent, the SILICOSIS project’s medical expert, is a pulmonologist and thoracic oncologist. He is based at the Centre Hospitalier St Joseph-St Luc in Lyon, where from 1993-April 2013 he was Chief of Pulmonology and Thoracic Oncology and, since April 2013, Coordinator of the Federation of Oncology and of the Innovation and Research Commission. He is also Director of the institution’s mineralogical analysis laboratory – Minapath – which is associated with the SILICOSIS project. Since 1988 he has been the president of the Association Lutte contre les Cancers Thoraciques et les Maladies Pulmonaires (ALCTMP).
Dr Mickaël Catinon is a researcher at the Minapath Laboratory of mineralogical analysis at the Centre Hospitalier Saint Joseph-Saint Luc in Lyon, France. He specialises in physico-chemical analysis, notably the mineralogical analysis of micro- and nanoparticles deposited in living and inert matrixes. He holds a doctorate in Ecology, Environment and Health from the Université de Grenoble 1, where he subsequently completed postdoctoral research. His doctoral and postdoctoral work studied inorganic atmospheric pollution in the Rhône, Isère and Gier regions of France. Dr Catinon’s current work for the Minapath laboratory focuses on dust build-up in human organs (the lungs, kidneys, ovaries and blood).
Émilien Ruiz, Ph.D. in Contemporary History, is a postdoctoral researcher with the Silicosis project. He is conducting research in demographic history on morbidity and mortality associated with pneumoconioses and respiratory afflictions in the 20th century.
His work aims to deconstruct the discipline of statistics and the way in which it is used in political, administrative, academic/scientific and other contexts, without renouncing quantitative material as a relevant source for the social sciences.