Historian, researcher with the CNRS
Luc Berlivet combines the contributions of political sociology and the history of sciences and medicine to analyse the way physicians, scholars and administrators have sought to describe the differences observable within human populations, in the context of actions taken by public authorities. In particular, he has studied transformations in medical statistics and the rise in the second half of the 20th century of a style of reasoning in terms of “health risk”, which triggered a rethinking of public health, especially policies of prevention in healthcare. His present work studies the evolution of concepts of human heredity since the end of 19th century and the respective roles of “nature” and “culture” in explaining differences and inequalities between individuals and human groups. Thus, he is interested in the itinerary of the different scientific and medical disciplines implicated in eugenics projects. His research focuses especially on the specific case of “Latin eugenics” (France, Italy, Romania, Latin America) and on the different ways environmental influence on heredity itself was envisaged. He participates in a series of collaborative projects on this subject with Italian, Brazilian and Mexican public institutions. At the same time, he is studying the history of medical genetics, since its institutionalisation following the Second World War. He teaches at the EHESS and is a member of the scientific council of the European Doctorate Phoenix JDP – Dynamics of health and Welfare.