Bruno Latour, born in 1947 in Beaune, Burgundy, from a wine grower family, was trained first as a philosopher and then an anthropologist. From 1982 to 2006, he has been professor at the Centre de sociologie de l'Innovation at the Ecole nationale supérieure des mines in Paris and, for various periods, visiting professor at UCSD, at the London School of Economics and in the history of science department of Harvard University.
He is now professor at Sciences Po Paris, after five years 2007-2012 as the vice-president for research. As of October 2013, he is part-time Centennial professor, at the LSE, London.
After field studies in Africa and California he specialized in the analysis of scientists and engineers at work. In addition to work in philosophy, history, sociology and anthropology of science, he has collaborated into many studies in science policy and research management. He has written Laboratory Life (Princeton University Press), Science in Action, and The Pasteurization of France. He also published a field study on an automatic subway system Aramis or the love of technology and an essay on symmetric anthropology We have never been modern. He has also gathered a series of essays, Pandora's Hope:Essays in the Reality of Science Studies to explore the consequences of the " science wars". After having directed several thesis on various environmental crisis, he published a book on the political philosophy of the environment Politics of Nature (all of those books are with Harvard University Press and have been translated in many languages).
In a series of books, he has been exploring the consequences of science studies on different traditional topics of the social sciences: religion in On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods, and Jubiler ou les tourments de la parole religieuse, and social theory in Paris ville invisible, a photographic essay on the technical & social aspects of the city of Paris (available on the web in English Paris Invisible City). After a long field work on one of the French supreme Courts, he has recently published a monograph la Fabrique du droit-une ethnographie du Conseil d'Etat (also now in English). A new presentation of the social theory which he has developped with his colleagues in Paris is available at Oxford University Press, under the title: Reassembling the Social, an Introduction to Actor Network Theory.
After having curated a major international exhibition in Karlsruhe at the ZKM center, Iconoclash beyond the image wars in science, religion and art, he has curated another one also with Peter Weibel Making Things Public The atmospheres of democracy which has closed in October 2005 (both catalogues are with MIT Press).
While in Sciences Po, he has created the médialab to seize the chance offered to social theory by the spread of digital methods and has created, together with Valrie Pihet a new experimental program in art and politics (SPEAP).
Having been awarded and ERC grant to pursue an inquiry into modes of existence, he is now for three year engaged into the making of this collaborative digital platform.
Awards and Honors
- 1992: Bernal Prize awarded by the 4S Society.
- 1992: Prix Roberval du Livre et de la Communication grand public (for Aramis ou l’amour des techniques).
- 1996: Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Lund, Sweden.
- 2005: Spinoza Chair, University of Amsterdam, Spring 2005.
- 2006: Doctorate Honoris Causa, University of Lausanne.
- 2007: A one week international meeting held in Cerisy at the occasion of his 60th birthday.
- 2008: Doctorate Honoris Causa, University of Montreal.
- 2008: Medal of Honor Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Bologna.
- 2008: Elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, Mass.
- 2008: Recipient of the Siegfried Unseld Prize for his life achievements (Frankfurt).
- 2008: Doctor Honoris causa of the University of Goteborg.
- 2009: Doctor Honoris causa of the University of Warwick.
- 2010: Recipient of the "Kulturpreiz" 2009 from the University of Munich.
- 2010: Recipient of the Nam June Paik Center Award.
- 2010: Recipient of the European Research Council Senior (ERC) grant for his inquiry into Modes of Existence.
- 2012: Is awarded the Legion of Honour.
- 2013: Is invited to give the Gifford lectures on Natural Theology in Edinburgh in February 2013.
- 2013: Is awarded the Holberg Memorial Prize for 2013 (the closest equivalent of the Nobel Prize for humanities and social science).
Books About BL's Work
- Georg Kneer, Markus Schroer and Erhard Schüttpelz, Bruno Latours Kollektive. Kontroversen zur Entgrenzung des Sozialen, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt (2007).
- Graham Harman, Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics, de-press (2009).
- Reiner Ruffing, Bruno Latour, UTB Profile, Stuttgart (2009).
- Arno Bammé, Wissenschaft im Wandel. Bruno Latour als Symptom, Metropolis, (2008).
- Blok, Anders, and Torben Elgaard Jensen. Bruno Latour - Hybride Tanker I En Hybrid Verden. Hans Reitzels Forlag, Copenhagen, (2009).
- Schmidgen, Henning (2011) Bruno Latour zur Einführung, Berlin, Junius Verlag..
- Blok, Anders and Jensen Torben Elgaard (2011) Bruno Latour: Hybrid thoughts in a hybrid world, London, Routledge.
- Miller, A. S (2013) Speculative Grace. Bruno Latour and Object Oriented Theology, New York: Fordham University Press.
- McGee, Kyle (2013) Bruno Latour: The Normativity of Networks, London: Routledge.