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Guillaume Lecointre explains that biological systematics have organized the diversity of living forms in terms of common features, obeying a logic of sharing. What you share with those near your doesn’t oppose you to other species. In science, one does not isolate a group through the capacities it lacks, that would be absurd. Culturally however, we think in terms of differences. Where science establishes diversifications in terms of sharing, social belonging is based on exclusion and differences. If we take the scientific method seriously, we can no longer ignore the social groups we exclude from the vision of a euro-centered world. Science is reasonable, not as a discipline with a political goal but by nature. This reason has unintentionally become compatible with the republican project of the political scientist Condorcet in the XVIIIth century, who wanted reason to be the pillar of citizenship. If we teach the children to see each other in terms of what they share, and not in terms of what makes them different, we teach them citizenship – living together. This is compassion: seeing in the other what you yourself could have. Teaching science to young pupils builds a school of democracy, it can forge citizenship by reason.

expert

  • Guillaume Lecointre

date

21/11/2015

location

Musée de l’Homme, Paris

is a biologist and systematist, director of the research department "Systematics and Evolution" at the Muséum national dʼHistoire Naturelle. He is especially interested in methodological, epistemological and pedagogical issues of species classifications.

— INQUIRY: On becoming earthlings
) — PRODUCTION: Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18
— EVENT: On becoming earthlings: dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the human

is a biologist and systematist, director of the research department "Systematics and Evolution" at the Muséum national dʼHistoire Naturelle. He is especially interested in methodological, epistemological and pedagogical issues of species classifications.

— INQUIRY: On becoming earthlings
) — PRODUCTION: Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18
— EVENT: On becoming earthlings: dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the human

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