Three médialab researchers
- médialab de Sciences Po
The British Journal of Sociology, a reference journal in sociology, recently awarded its annual prize to “The whole always smaller than its parts,” an article written by three médialab researchers - Bruno Latour, Dominique Boullier and Tommaso Venturini - in collaboration with two physicists from the ENS Lyon, Pablo Jensen and Sebastian Gauwin.
By using new digital tools developed in the médialab, it is possible to implement one of the most original ideas from Gabriel Tarde, a founder of sociology and Sciences Po’s first professor in this discipline. Tarde sought to challenge what had become the norm in the social sciences: the division between the individual and society. He wanted to trace out social connections without assuming the existence of individuals or of society, however due to the rudimentary statistical tools of the time this alternative was impossible. This is what the médialab’s BJS awarded article proves: it is possible to map out the social world differently, and this opens up new perspectives for both qualitative and quantitative approaches in the social sciences.