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Le régime de recherche utilitaire du professeur‐consultant au cours de la Seconde Révolution industrielle

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During the Second Industrial revolution, consulting professor bridged higher education institutions with industry and government. A concept like the utilitarian research regime by Terry Shinn can explain their material and intellectual production by allowing for a reconstruction of their social networks. Pierre-Paul LeCointe (d. 1948) and Louis Bourgoin (1891–1951), associates in an engineering consultancy office, institutionalised a consultation service at the Laboratory of Industrial Chemistry of the École Polytechnique of Montreal (1917). The two industrial chemists were thereby able to obtain financial, material and human resources through exchanges with industrialists, business men and civil servants; consequently, their material and intellectual production is marked by the preoccupations of the industries and government with whom they exchanged. Industrial development in Canada was, in part, based on the work of these consultants who helped private companies analyse primary resources, standardize fabrication procedures and adapt the production to regulations. The government also offered technological assistance to businesses thanks to consultants, while regulating the markets and producing industrial standards. The inception of a utilitarian research regime results from the conjunction of these different factors. Finally, on Bourgoin's initiative, the École Polytechnique created a research centre (1946) based on the model of consulting laboratories.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00033790310001654800

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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