Gaia: The New Body Politic

Bruno Latour
Bruno Latour under Holbergprisens symposium 2013. Foto: Marit Hommedal / Scanpix / Holbergprisen

The scientific notion of 'planetary boundaries' is not enough to redefine the new limits inside which the development of the human adventure should be, from now on, circumscribed. It requires to be supplemented by the other humanities disciplines that all have a say on what is a bond, a bound, a limit: namely, law, morality, politics, economics and religion. To succeed in making such a connection, a different definition of agency needs to be explored, one that also allows the natural sciences and the humanities to get much closer in their definition of what it means to be 'bound'.

Bruno Latour is Professor at Science Po, Paris, where he served as Vice-President for Research 2007-2012; since 2012 he has been responsible for the programme of Scientific Humanities and numerical methods. He was previously Professor at the Centre de sociologie de l’Innovation, École Nationale Supérieure des mines, Paris. His many books include Laboratory Life (1979), The Pasteurisation of France (1984), Science in Action (1987), We have never been modern (1991), Aramis or the Love of Technology (1992), The Making of Law (2002), Rejoicing, or the Torments of Religious Speech (2013), Reassembling the Social (2005), and On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods (2009). A translation of his most recent book, An Inquiry into Modes of Existence (2012) is due out from Harvard University Press in 2013. His work has included two major international exhibitions, Iconclash; Beyond the Image Wars (2002) and Making Things Public (2005, with Peter Weibel). He is currently engaged in building AIME, a collaborative digital research platform supported by the ERC. He has received honorary degrees and medals from the Universities of Lund, Lausanne, Montreal, Bologna, Goteborg, and Warwick. His previous prizes include the Seigfried Unseld Prize (Frankfurt, 2008), the Kulturpreiz (Munich, 2009), and the Nam Jun Paik Centre award (2010); in 2012 he was awarded the French Légion d’Honneur.