Cui prodest Michel Foucault?


Do we have to drag in the thought of Michel Foucault to show the political (and not neutral), partial and local (and not universal and non-historic), active (and not merely transmissive) face of science communication? Do we need the work of the controversial French intellectual to dispute the anxious search – almost a quest like that for the Holy Grail – for the “best practices” in the dissemination of scientific culture? If we read over the pages that Foucault dedicated to words and things, to the archaeology and genealogy of knowledge, to biopolitics, we have few doubts. Two elements, on the one hand the central nature of discourse and “regimes of truth”, on the other the concept of biopower (a “power over bodies”), enable us to reflect both on the important specific features of modern science in comparison with other forms of production and organisation of knowledge, and on the central role of its communication.


21 March 2006



Medicalisation means first of all a science – medicine – going beyond its boundaries: from the art of healing individuals, or systematically classifying useful information to treat diseases affecti


“In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom”, writes J.G. Ballard in his novel Running Wild.


Before constructing a translation of scientific discourse in lay terms – and with this, calling forth the ghost of the public’s ignorance about science and technology – the operation which makes up