LPS-BIOSCIENCES invited Bruno LEMAITRE for a conference in Orsay on March 15th, 2017

March 15, 2017 12:15 pm
Bruno Lemaitre, professeur au Global Health Institute de l'EPFL. Lausanne, 23 août 2016. FRANCOIS WAVRE / LUNDI13 POUR LE MONDE

LPS-BIOSCIENCES invited Bruno LEMAITRE, Drosophila geneticist, Head of Laboratory at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, well known for his work on immunity and Toll receptors on Wednesday 15th March 2017. On this occasion he will give a talk on “Science and Narcissism” at the IPNO Auditorium Irène Joliot-Curie, Bâtiment 100, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay.

Institut de Physique Nucléaire Auditorium Irène Joliot-Curie, Bâtiment 100

How do High-ego personalities drive research in life sciences and other societal issue with narcissism?

Scientists are often seen as meticulous and impartial individuals solely devoted to their study and the search for scientific truth. But a deeper analysis reveals that many of them are highly egocentric and sensitive to their privileges. Egocentrism, elitism, strategic media occupation and self-enhancement strategies are some of the first particularities that strike a newcomer to the academic world. This talk will analyse the influence of narcissism, an important human personality dimension, on science. The central idea is that narcissism is an advantageous trait for succeeding in an academic environment. Scientists with a high ego are better at convincing others of the importance of their research and, as excellent networkers, they are well placed to exploit the different facets of the research system. In some cases, high ego scientists may unconsciously distort the reality to maintain a positive illusion about themselves, resulting in questionable practices, misconduct, and overselling.

This talk will also discuss the psychological and sociobiological origins of narcissism and investigates the possible connection between narcissism on one hand, and dominance and short-term mating strategy on the other. The recent increase in narcissism in Western society and how this destabilises not only our society but also scientific practice is also discussed. This talk will provide an alternative view of science by analysing the narcissistic personality: prevalent among leading scientists, but rarely placed in the spotlight

Bruno Lemaitre

He is a Drosophila geneticist well known for his work on immunity. During his research and through his interactions with colleagues he also had the opportunity to observe the behaviour of scientists. This led him to start a reflection on the impact of narcissism in science. He recently published a remarkable book on this subject: “An Essay on Science and Narcissism”.