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Agricultural research and innovation: a socio-historical analysis

Goulet F.. 2018. In : Faure Guy (ed.), Chiffoleau Yuna (ed.), Goulet Frédéric (ed.), Temple Ludovic (ed.), Touzard Jean-Marc (ed.). Innovation and development in agricultural and food systems. Versailles : Ed. Quae, p. 48-59. (Synthèses : Quae).

This chapter examines, in a socio-historical perspective, the place occupied by innovation in the field of agricultural research. While the notion of innovation is ubiquitous today, it is a time-honoured idea that science and technology can, and must, contribute to the transformation of agriculture. It has even been the basis of the establishment of national and international agricultural research institutions in the latter half of the 20th century. The transformation of the relationships between science, agriculture and society has, nevertheless, called this contribution into question in recent decades. In particular in the context of a crisis of confidence in the industrial agricultural model and transformations specific to the scientific field, there has been an evolution and diversification of expectations from agriculture. Agricultural research institutions have to cope with these developments, and regularly re-invent the terms of their contributions to innovation and to the transformation of agriculture.

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