Reflections on Interdisciplinary Collaboration between Sociology and the Exact sciences
If the original ambition of sociology to constitute itself into an encyclopaedia of the social sciences has largely failed (because of the obligation to restrict its scope through disciplinary specialization), the discipline has been more successful as a key actor in interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary encounters that cover a wide range of domains that link the exact and social sciences or the nature-culture divide that is at the foundation of modern epistemology. Besides providing the much needed human and social dimension in performance in the applied sciences relating to man (medicine, engineering, agriculture) or the intervention dimension that the pure sciences can usher in, sociology has a long history in interrogating the social (organizational, relational) and cultural (symbolic) context of the production of scientific knowledge. A discipline with a vocation towards fulfilling the aspirations of the pure and applied dimensions of science, sociology hopes to both gain from the advances of the other sciences exact sciences while contributing reciprocally to their development. This presentation hopes to throw light on these preoccupations by exploring the bases (philosophical, social) of this imperative as well as the problems faced in or the obstacles that still hinder the emergence of interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary/trans-disciplinary practice.
Key words: sociology, exact sciences, collaboration, intersections, reciprocity, reflexivity