Recherche, sciences, techniques

Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)

Revue

Recherche, sciences, techniques

The Digital Revolution in Photography

For about two years now, the market in digital cameras has been enjoying a massive boom, especially in Europe, the United States and Japan. The sales over the Christmas and New Year period at the end of 2004 confirm the trend as the increasing technical improvements to digital cameras mean that consumers are turning away from the old-fashioned models. The figures vary depending on the source: sales around the world rose by between 30% and 40% in 2004, and could well continue to rise at least until 2009.
This enthusiasm for digital cameras - a good example if ever there was one of consumers being convinced at once by a technical innovation - has led to major changes in the sector, as most manufacturers have had to adapt to the rapid disappearance of film cameras (now used only by some professional photographers and surviving, for the general public, only in the range of disposable cameras) and alter their industrial strategies. Pierre Bonnaure describes here the extent of these upheavals and their consequences.

Revue

Entreprises, travail - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Guiding the Reform of French Public Research

Following the protests from the French research community in Spring 2004, on several occasions between June and December 2004 Futuribles provided coverage of the debate about ways of reforming the French research system. This article by Catherine Paradeise and Jean-Claude Thoenig continues the debate, this time proposing a pragmatic approach that would make it easier to implement reform.
Indeed, quite apart from the many proposals for changing and overhauling the way that public research is organized, the key question is how reforms could actually be put into practice and, in particular, how those working in the public research sector could be persuaded to see the reforms as being in their own interest. The authors, who are specialists in the sociology of organizations, therefore examine here this aspect of how reforms of the system are implemented and the feasibility of the approaches so far envisaged.
Their analysis is based on the conviction that such a fundamental reform cannot occur without the participation of everyone involved and it must come from the bottom up, gradually and in small, unconnected steps, rather than via a global, institutional approach. The important thing is to "put an end to a majestic, all-encompassing vision of the reform", by increasing the number of intermediate levels likely to trigger organizational changes. Strategic guidance by the public authorities should therefore consist of fostering and capitalizing on the incremental improvements and then, in the medium term, regulating them so as to make them the source of more general change in the long run.
In other words, a key criterion for the success of reforms should be their feasibility. The authors offer here an analysis applied to the various proposals made for the organization of research. Their strong wish is that the management and guidance of the reforms by public authorities should for once avoid being as feeble as they tend to be in France, no matter which field is concerned.

Revue

Entreprises, travail - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Innovation: Time for Revolution! The Beffa Report: Towards a New Industrial Strategy

A lively debate has been going on simultaneously in France for several years on several topics:
- "the decline of France", the decline of manufacturing and the fact that the economy is falling behind that of other industrialized countries, especially the United States and the rapidly growing developing nations in Asia;
- the ups and downs of research in France and, worse still, the country's poor showing with regard to technological development and innovation.
Futuribles has made a major contribution to this debate, including publishing numerous articles criticizing the lack of a satisfactory policy to foster research and innovation, and putting forward various proposals for improving the situation.
The French government, as is now standard practice, has announced that it will soon present to parliament (though this keeps being postponed) a draft bill about research and innovation; the preliminary proposals, insofar as they are yet known, appear to rely heavily on the creation of a "national research agency".
At the same time, the French President has asked Jean-Louis Beffa, the highly respected CEO of the firm Saint-Gobain, to draw up a report published on 15 January 2005 entitled Pour une nouvelle politique industrielle (Towards a New Industrial Strategy).
The preliminary proposals and, more particularly, the Beffa Report, are examined here by André-Yves Portnoff, who criticizes yet again this typically French gambit of not only piling on even more laws and regulations, but now creating more and more quangos, relying exclusively on major public programmes to be run by large (often state-owned) firms and geared to supplying the public sector. Past experience has shown that this approach, except in certain specific sectors, has had limited success. It would be much better to foster innovation of all kinds by smaller firms that are more in touch with the market.

CR table ronde

Institutions - Recherche, sciences, techniques - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Protocole de Kyoto : l’enjeu de la réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre

En guise d’introduction, Hugues de Jouvenel a rappelé que nous étions à la veille de l’entrée en vigueur du protocole de Kyoto (il est entré en application le mercredi 16 février 2005 dans les 127 pays du monde l’ayant ratifié). L’expertise de Pierre Radanne, a-t-il souligné, s’avère donc tout à fait bienvenue pour nous en éclairer les enjeux.

Bibliography

Entreprises, travail - Recherche, sciences, techniques - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Éléments de débat autour des biotechnologies

Ensemble des techniques et des connaissances liées à l'utilisation du vivant dans les processus de production, les biotechnologies recouvrent un large champ d'investigation qui va de la santé (biotechnologie rouge) à l'agriculture (biotechnologie verte) en passant par la chimie de transformation des ressources renouvelables (biotechnologie blanche). Le récent rapport de Jean-Yves Le Déaut, député de Meurthe-et-Moselle et vice-président de l'OPECST (Office parlementaire d'évaluation des choix scientifiques et technologiques), a fait le point sur " la place ...

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Revue

Géopolitique - Recherche, sciences, techniques - Société, modes de vie

The Digital Divide in Europe. The Economic and Social Issues Related to "Knowledge-based Europe"

The 1990s saw the arrival of a new era for most industrialized countries. The rise of new information and communications technologies meant the start of a period of very rapid changes that completely transformed the daily life of ordinary people. But while these developments brought with them actual progress and hopes of further advances in many fields (e.g. communications, medicine, education), they also had the effect of leaving some people behind. As Patrick Cohendet and Lucy Stojak argue here, the knowledge-based society has indeed marginalized some groups in Europe, and this "digital divide" (here measured mainly in terms of use of the Internet) could well become more serious if nothing is done to improve matters.
The authors begin by defining what is meant by "digital divide", distinguishing technological (basically quantitative) considerations from a socio-economic approach (taking account of qualitative aspects, such as the ability to use technologies, as well as quantitative ones), which is the one they prefer. They then present a typology of users (and non-users) of the Internet, showing the inequalities linked to social class, geography, age, etc.
As the authors emphasize, it is essential to narrow this divide if the European Union in future is to achieve its aim of becoming "the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world"; this must be done in order to prevent a widening of the gap between the older and newer members of the EU, and more generally between densely populated regions and isolated areas; and it is an important consideration given an ageing population, as older people tend to be less computer-literate. Moreover, it is all too clear that simply having the infrastructures for access to the mass of information available via the Internet is not enough; people must also be able to sort out this information, then understand and assimilate it. In other words, for a truly knowledge-based society to develop there needs to be a genuine effort to educate the public.
Lastly, the article proposes a series of policy measures geared to narrowing the divide, starting by installing the necessary digital infrastructures across the whole of Europe and providing universal broadband access to the Internet, just like access to the telephone in the past.

Bibliography

Recherche, sciences, techniques

Afrique : la fracture scientifique / Africa : the Scientific Divide

Plus grave que la fracture numérique, c’est la fracture scientifique qui marginalise l’Afrique. Ce continent se développera, en fonction de priorités qu’il aura lui-même définies, lorsqu’il se construira une culture nouvelle, libérée aussi bien de certains comportements archaïques que de la posture de consommateur passif de techniques importées comme au temps de la colonisation. Le défi consiste, pour les Africains, à réussir à intérioriser la pensée scientifique en se l’appropriant dans une synthèse originale avec ...

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Bibliography

Recherche, sciences, techniques - Société, modes de vie

The Future of the Internet

Près de 1 300 experts ont été interrogés par le Pew Research Center sur l'avenir à 10 ans d'Internet. Un consensus s'est dégagé autour de deux « prédictions » : - le réseau des réseaux sera victime d'au moins une attaque dévastatrice dans les 10 ans qui viennent (selon 66 % des sondés) ; - Internet sera de plus en plus intégré dans notre environnement quotidien et les connexions à haut débit vont se généraliser. La montée en puissance des blogs est également ...

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Bibliography

Recherche, sciences, techniques

Biotechnologies to 2025

Ce rapport, commandé par le ministère néo-zélandais de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie, traite du futur rôle des biotechnologies dans la société. Le but est de mettre à disposition du ministère, par le biais du système « Futurewatch », une alerte sur les évolutions futures, pour servir de base aux réflexions et discussions. Les chapitres présentent successivement : - une définition et un historique des biotechnologies, un portrait de ce secteur en Nouvelle-Zélande (qui absorbe 15 % du budget de recherche-développement ...

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Bibliography

Recherche, sciences, techniques

« Agora 2020. Synthèse à mi-parcours »

À l’été 2003, la Direction de la recherche du ministère de l’Équipement, des Transports, de l’Aménagement du territoire, du Tourisme et de la Mer a engagé une vaste consultation prospective sur les attentes en matière de recherche dans ses différents domaines d’intervention — en y incluant le logement, la ville, la gestion des risques et l’observation des milieux. Cette consultation — qui a reçu le nom d’Agora 2020 — entre maintenant dans sa phase finale. Ce document ...

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Bibliography

Recherche, sciences, techniques - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Prospective de la recherche. Agriculture, alimentation, environnement / Research Foresight. Agriculture, Food and the Environment

Cet ouvrage révèle l’utilité de la prospective appliquée à l’élaboration d’une stratégie à long terme d’un institut de recherche œuvrant dans le domaine de l’agriculture, de l’alimentation et de l’environnement. Il décrit comment concilier les avancées ambivalentes de la science, notamment des sciences de la vie, et les besoins d’un développement durable.

Bibliography

Recherche, sciences, techniques

Bâtiment 2015

Premier employeur du pays, le bâtiment français compte 877 000 salariés, qui travaillent principalement dans les petites entreprises. Le chiffre d'affaires du secteur en France avoisine les 100 milliards d'euros. La Fédération française du bâtiment, à l'initiative de son Conseil des professions, a lancé début 2002 cette étude prospective. Constitué d'une dizaine d'entrepreneurs, un groupe de travail, qui a bénéficié de l'accompagnement méthodologique d'Hugues de Jouvenel, directeur général de Futuribles, s'est réuni ...

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Bibliography

Recherche, sciences, techniques

Des Médiattitudes. Prospective sur la stratégie de l’État dans les mutations des médias

Si l'État démocratique et les individus ne réagissent pas pour obtenir des médias pluralisme et qualité, que ce soit dans les programmes, les articles, les émissions, les portails, les sites Web et les blogs, en utilisant les différents supports de la presse écrite, de la télévision, de la radio, d'Internet (et du portable), l'histoire des médias français pourrait devenir rapidement la conquête de la communication par quelques géants du multimédia, selon ce rapport, résultat des réflexions du ...

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Bibliography

Recherche, sciences, techniques

Space 2030 : Tackling Society’s Challenges

Les pouvoirs publics devraient exploiter la technologie spatiale pour mieux surveiller l'environnement, lutter contre les embouteillages et répondre plus efficacement aux catastrophes, selon ce rapport de l'OCDE. Space 2030: Tackling Society's Challenges analyse les opportunités et les enjeux de la technologie spatiale et formule des recommandations sur les moyens de concrétiser le potentiel de l'espace. Ce rapport explore le rôle possible de la technologie spatiale dans cinq grands domaines : l'environnement, l'utilisation des ressources naturelles ...

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Revue

Recherche, sciences, techniques - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Energy Conservation in Housing

Global warming and the risks of a shortage of fossil fuels are two of the important issues that modern societies as well as the whole planet must face in the course of the 21st century. In addition to the efforts required with regard to private energy consumption, transport and techniques of industrial production, one sector that still has a considerable potential for improving its ability to conserve energy is housing.
As three professionals working in this sector (for the Centre for Science and Technology in Building) explain in this article, many techniques already exist and further progress could also be made both to improve overall energy savings and to increase the capacities for housing units to produce their own energy from renewable sources.
Various technical solutions have been proposed by specialists in energy conservation, such as using specialized equipment (solar panels, double glazing, better insulation, etc.) and the development of "positive energy buildings". These show that the potential of the housing sector has been relatively neglected as a source of energy savings, especially in France (Germany and Switzerland are much further ahead in this area). The authors therefore make some proposals for ways of encouraging the public authorities to create incentives for people to choose an "intelligent" approach to energy saving in their homes.

Chapitre recherche, sciences...

Ce chapitre est extrait du Rapport Vigie 2016 de Futuribles International, qui propose un panorama structuré des connaissances et des incertitudes des experts que l'association a mobilisés pour explorer les évolutions des 15 à 35 prochaines années sur 11 thématiques.