Deviant Technopolitics and Fake(d) Epistemology

Pierre France

Conspiracy milieus tend to have a strong interest in science, showing in the constant display of professional qualities - ‘engineers’, ‘scholars’, ‘doctors’ - for many of the individuals involved in these collectives; or through mimicking practices, be they peer-reviewing, the creation of journals, correspondence with established journals, reflexive articles dealing with epistemology, up to laboratory work and calculations. This situation poses an interesting challenge to the sociology and history of science as a case of deviant amateurs.
Through the study of this scientific frame of reference and this set of seemingly scientific practices, I intend to approach this deviant form of science and its underlying technopolitics: relying on the idea of supposedly hidden advances in science, concealed scientific discoveries - ‘cold fusion’ or ‘directed free energy’ - and the use of pseudo-concepts like 'deep state', or 'military/medical-industrial complex', conspiracy theorists have their ad hoc way of bridging social, juridical and historical sciences with experimental sciences and technology. This project extends to new fieldwork in the United States a research first conducted as an ethnography of conspiracy militants (2013-2019) in France and then Lebanon (2020-2023).


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