The Question of the Real

From Science to Catastrophe
By Maud H. Devès

This article draws upon the teachings of psychoanalysis in order to explore the place that “scientists” can, and cannot, hold in the face of the demands that are made of them. It explores the transference that is operative towards Science through figures of the monster and the Catastrophe. Since situations of catastrophe confront the individual and the collective with the question of the real, with the way this real is put into discourse and into a narrative, they allow us to underline the potentially traumatogenic character of the scientific project. This observation invites us to distinguish between the practice of research and the situation of the expert assessment.


  • psychoanalysis
  • epistemology
  • sciences
  • scientist
  • catastrophe
  • monster
  • trauma
  • real
  • discourse
  • narrative
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