Sociology Index

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Bruno Latour

Bruno Latour (Born 22 June 1947) is a French philosopher, anthropologist and sociologist. He is especially known for his work in the field of science and technology studies. After teaching at the École des Mines de Paris (Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation) from 1982 to 2006, he became Professor at Sciences Po Paris (2006–2017), where he was the scientific director of the Sciences Po Medialab. He retired from several university activities in 2017. He was also a Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics. After spending more than twenty years (1982–2006) at the Centre de sociologie de l'innovation at the École des Mines in Paris, Latour moved in 2006 to Sciences Po, where he was the first occupant of a chair named for Gabriel Tarde. In 2005 he held the Spinoza Chair of Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. Bruno Latour holds several other honorary doctorates, as well as France's Légion d'Honneur (2012). Bruno Latour is known for 'We Have Never Been Modern' (1991; English translation, 1993), 'Laboratory Life' (with Steve Woolgar, 1979) and 'Science in Action' (1987). Although his studies of scientific practice were at one time associated with social constructionist approaches to the philosophy of science, Latour has diverged significantly from such approaches. Bruno Latour figures among eminent sociologists of the world.

Bruno Latour is also known for withdrawing from the subjective/objective division and re-developing the approach to work in practice. Bruno Latour said in 2017 that he is interested in helping to rebuild trust in science and that some of the authority of science needs to be regained. Along with Michel Callon and John Law, Bruno Latour is one of the primary developers of actor–network theory, a constructionist approach influenced by the ethnomethodology of Harold Garfinkel, the generative semiotics of Algirdas Julien Greimas, and the sociology of Émile Durkheim's rival Gabriel Tarde.