8ème Journée Nationale d’Étude du Réseau des URFIST

30 septembre 2021 - LYON

(Campus de la DOUA)

English version

« Digital methods and scientific practices: what influences of digital technologies on science research? »

The digital ecosystem in which nowaday’s scientific production takes place deeply influences the researchers’ practices. Mining, machine learning and data visualisation algorithms have consequences on data gathering, information processing and on the results’ publication. The challenges are therefore multiple : they are about sustainability, access, security, sovereignty and even the governance of the technologies on which relies the very process of knowledge creation

But in the end, what has the digital instrumentation actually done to science, and what has it done of science over the few years? 


Can we talk about « digital methods »?

Or should we talk about the « methods’ digitalisation »?

In line with by Richard Rogers (Digital Methods, 2013) and Jean-Edouard Bigot‘s reflections (Instruments, pratiques et enjeux d’une recherche numériquement équipée en sciences humaines et sociales, 2018), the aim of the 8th National Day of Studies of the Urfist Network is to question the effects of digital technologies on researchers’ practices

It will explore three different topics :

  • the relationship between science and epistemology, and the major transversal issues related to digital technologies
  • the concrete influences of digital technologies on scientific practices (both from a disciplinary and interdisciplinary point of view)
  • training and support issues associated with digital methods

Indeed, digital technologies can not be considered as simple tools : this is why we will take a more general look at the values and directions they may convey, the paths vectors and interests they may have embedded (sometimes without our knowledge), as well as the constrained directory of actions likely to influence the researchers’ praxis, including the way they approach their field.


This symposium is free for everyone but requires an online registration.

It will take place in the Théâtre Astrée of the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (campus LyonTech – La DOUA).

3 main questions during this symposium : 

1. Do the key cross-cutting digital issues substantially change the scientific practices?

Are these so-called digital uses, tools and objects actually innovative?

Why do we talk about digital technologies in science? Does it induce new methods, complementary to those that existed before ?

2.Which scientific practices are specifically influenced by digital technologies? ? 

Is it data gathering? Data processing? Data editing? Data disseminating? How are they influenced by digital technologies ?

Moreover, digital technologies have been increasingly used within various academic disciplines (Natural, Technical and Health Sciences as well as Social Sciences and Humanities).

Here the question is whether interdisciplinarity is required concerning these digital toolsechnologies and their application to research.

3. As part of the training provided to the university scientific communities, do we have to keep pace with the constant arrival of new tools intended to equip the scientific practices? ? 

Do we really have to train in tools over the development of which researchers will have no control?

Shouldn’t we also train researchers in the socio-technical prisms and biases included in these digital technologies?