Jean-François Gauvin

Jean-François Gauvin

Assistant Professor, Department of History, Université Laval, Québec City
Holder of the Chaire de leadership en enseignement en muséologie et mise en public
Gauvin Associate

Dr. Jean-François Gauvin has been working in academia and museums in Canada and the United States for the past 18 years. As an administrative director, museum curator, PhD student, and now professor he has used his professional, teaching and research activities to rethink the role of objects and scientific instruments in Western culture, specifically between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. In conference talks, published papers, museum exhibitions and in the classroom he studies the dynamic of instruments (taken in its broader sense, organum) in relation to theory and experiments, not only within learned societies but in various other sites of investigation. Questions such as What is a scientific instrument? What role do they play in advancing science and technology? What sociocultural impact (positive and negative) do they have on the development of Western history? are part of his analysis. We live, and always have lived, in a world dedicated to objects. What interest him the most, what is really at the core of his research, teaching and exhibition program, is to understand how scientific objects—instruments of knowledge—construct science, technology, and society.