Sociologist, Emeritus Research Director, CNRS
Contact : simone.bateman(at)parisdescartes.fr
My research focuses on the ethical issues raised by innovative technology in medical and scientific practice, particularly in the field of reproduction and sexuality (abortion, contraception, assisted reproduction, neonatal intensive care, embryonic stem cell research, genetic testing). I approach these issues, not as abstract philosophical problems, but as practical dilemmas encountered on a daily basis, whose moral dimension is tightly intertwined with a set of other normative considerations (technical, social, legal, political, economic, etc.). My approach is descriptive, but takes normative issues seriously. I examine how these issues first arise as practical dilemmas before being identified and formally discussed as normative issues that have an impact on decision-making, both in daily practice and in the public arena. This approach emphasizes the need to identify the specific contexts in which these dilemmas first arise, as well as the contingent concerns that may constrain or compel the actions of those who must deal with them. My work also examines how protagonists attempt to justify and legitimize innovative practices, especially when these practices generate controversy in the political arena. Most of my research includes a comparative component, both intra- and international, that illustrates how normative priorities vary in different practical contexts and in different legal systems and cultures.