Sociologist, Emeritus Research Director, CNRS
Contact : simone.bateman(at)parisdescartes.fr
My research focuses mainly on the moral issues raised by innovation in medical and scientific practice, in particular in the field of reproduction and sexuality (abortion, contraception, assisted human reproduction, neonatal intensive care, research on embryonic stem cells, genetic testing). I approach these issues not as abstract philosophical problems, but as practical dilemmas that actors deal with on a daily basis and that comprise a moral dimension tightly interwoven with a whole set of other normative considerations (technical, social, legal, political, economic, etc.). My approach is often descriptive but takes thesenormative issues seriously. It examines how these issues first arise as practical dilemmas, before they are identified, formalized and discussed as normative issues, and analyzes the impact of these discussions on decision making, both in everyday medical and scientific practice and in the public arena. This approach also emphasizes the need to identify the specific contexts in which these dilemmas first arise, as well as the contingent concerns that may constrain or compel the actions of those who must deal with them. My work also examines how actors attempt to justify and legitimize innovative practices, especially when these practices generate controversy in the political arena. Most of my research includes a comparative, intra- and international component, as a means of illustrating how normative priorities vary in different contexts, a fact that is reflected in the various modes of organizing the same practice and in diverse legal systems and cultures.