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Dr Jean-Baptiste Gouyon

Dr Jean-Baptiste Gouyon

Lecturer in Science Communication

Dept of Science & Technology Studies

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
6th Jan 2014

Research summary

Gouyon’s research is in the history of the presentation of science in visual media. He’s published on displays at the Science Museum, on the history of British science television, and on the history of wildlife television in Britain. He’s currently finishing a book manuscript under contract with publisher Palgrave-Macmillan, on the history of wildlife television in Britain in the age of David Attenborough.

His research rest mostly on the study of archival material (documents and films) as well as on oral history interviews with television science producers past and present. He notably produced a series of 17 oral history interviews with past producers and editors of the BBC science series Horizon, as part of his ongoing exploration of the history of this series.

Gouyon’s research interests are in the study of science in public, the sociology and history of the life sciences, the human animal relationship.

Teaching summary

Gouyon's teaching is mostly about the theories and practices of science communication, with a focus on science journalism. But he also lectures on broader themes related to the sociology of science as well as methodological issues involved in conducting research on science communication and the sociology of science.

Education

University College London
FHEA, Academic studies in Higher Education | 2016
University of York
PhD, Sociology | 2010
University of York
AFHEA, Academic studies in Higher Education | 2009
Universite Denis Diderot (Paris VII)
MA, History and Philosophy of Science | 2000
Universite de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines
MAI, Cell Biology | 1998

Biography

I was born in France in the mid-1970s and grew up in between Normandy, Bordeaux and Paris. I first had a stint at Medical Studies but quickly found out that it was not for me. I then trained as a biologist, graduating just before the Human Genome project reached completion. After graduating, I turned to science journalism, working for three years as a trainee writer in popular science magazines for children, Science & Vie Junior and Science & Vie Decouvertes. At the same time I did a DEA (MA) in the epistemology and history of science and technology, under the supervision of Jean Gayon (1949-2018), at the University of Paris 7. 
All this came to a momentary stop as I had to do my national service, for which I spent a year and a half living and working in Oslo (Norway), as deputy science and technology attache at the Embassy of France--which may sound grander than it really is. But since this stay I've kept a deep attachment to Norway.
Back in France I worked for three years mostly as a science journalist, with papers published in La Recherche, Science & Vie, Les Cahiers de Science & Vie. But eventually I got frustrated at constantly changing topics, with never a chance of going down the rabbit hole. So, encouraged by Jean Gayon, I started looking for PhD studentships in the UK. I eventually obtained one from the department of Sociology at the University of York. After four lovely years there, supervised by Dr Amanda Rees, I spent two years and half in Berlin, on the back of a one year post-doctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, in Lorraine Daston's department. 
Living in Berlin was fun. I remember fondly walking in the woods, around the lakes. But eventually, I got back to Britain, as a research fellow at the Science Museum in London, working with Tim Boon on a very fun project comparing displays of science at the museum with television science programmes, funded by the AHRC. After a very short spell at the University of  Kent, I began teaching at UCL's department of Science and Technology Studies, which quickly felt like finally reaching home.

Publications