Les multiples facettes de l'entrepreneuriat scientifique de James Lovelock dans les années 1960-70

Abstract : James Lovelock (1919-…), a chemist famous for having elaborated the Gaia hypothesis, portrays himself as an "independent scientist" settled in a remote lab-house in the English countryside. Against this narrative, the authors describe Lovelock's life in the 1960s and 1970s as that of a "scientific entrepreneur". After twenty years as an engineer in a civil biomedical laboratory, Lovelock resigned to set up on his own. His skills as an expert in chromatography and as an engineer gifted for inventing chemistry instruments were so renowned that he rapidly became a highly demanded consultant, working both for major chemical and petroleum industries and for prestigious public scientific institutions. Obvious synergies, but also tensions, appear between his activities as an expert on environmental issues, his consulting work for industries, and his theoretical work giving birth to a new conception of Earth and life. Lovelock must not only be eventually regarded as one of the fathers of Earth system science and as an important contributor to cultural mutations linked to the environment from the 1960s onwards, but also as an early embodiment of a scientific entrepreneur with a foot in the world of public environmental research and the other in the world of industry.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 4, 2019 - 10:54:11 AM
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Régis Briday, Sébastien Dutreuil. Les multiples facettes de l'entrepreneuriat scientifique de James Lovelock dans les années 1960-70. Marché et Organisations, L'Harmattan, 2019, L’entrepreneuriat scientifique : institutions et innovation, pp.33-60. ⟨10.3917/maorg.034.0033⟩. ⟨hal-02305427⟩

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