Public debate

Dominique Cardon

Faced with these huge technical systems that capture our abilities, it is increasingly necessary that we learn how not to unlearn.

Director of the Medialab at Sciences Po, sociologist Dominique Cardon is also a member of the Scientific Council for Wikimédia France, the Editorial Committee for the journal “Réseaux” and the CNIL Foresight Committee. His research and publications have established his reputation as an expert on digital technologies and the internet.

Published on 10/07/2019

2 min

Born in 1965, Dominique Cardon has been a sociologist, researcher, professor and Medialab director at Sciences Po since 2016. A member of the Orange Labs research centre from 1996 to 2016 and an associate professor at the University of Marne la Vallée Technical Laboratory, he defended his thesis "The expanded public space. Opinion, Criticism and Expressiveness in the Internet Age” (“L'espace public élargi. Opinion, critique et expressivité à l'ère d'internet”) in 2015.

A former member of the Centre for Social Movement Studies at the EHESS and a member of the editorial committee for the journal “Réseaux”, his work and research initially led him to focus on different forms of expression in traditional media. He then went on to study the uses of communication technologies such as collaborative tools, the relationships between cultural practices and social life and the changes in the ways we work brought about by the digital revolution.

Very aware of the technological upheavals of our time and the challenges they present, Dominique Cardon became a pioneer in his discipline by looking at the issue of digital technologies. Since the early 2000s, his research has focused on the various uses of the Internet, as he deciphers social media, blogging, the governance of Wikipedia, and the transformation of the public space and of interpersonal relations.

The author of numerous specialist publications, the sociologist also speaks to a wider audience through his works, such as What do Algorithms Dream of? Our Lives in the Time of Big Data (“A quoi rêvent les algorithmes : Nos vies à l'heure des big data")  where he analyses how web and big data algorithms work and their impact on our uses of digital technologies, our daily activities, political lives and socio-cultural practices.

In 2019, Dominique Cardon published Digital Culture (“Culture numérique”) at the Presses de Sciences-Po, which seeks to emphasise the importance for everyone of building a digital culture.

Relying on extensive documentation and a broad bibliography, Dominique Cardon retraces the history of the web and the creation of the Internet, describes its economic and sociocultural challenges and its ambiguities, and encourages us to reconsider our approach to and uses of social networks.  

  • 1996


    Dominique Cardon becomes a member of the Orange Labs research centre, where he will work until 2016.

  • 2010


    Dominique Cardon publishes Internet Democracy: Promises and Limitations (“La démocratie Internet : Promesses et limites”) at Seuil.

  • 2015


    Publication of his work What do Algorithms Dream of? Our Lives in the Time of Big Data at Seuil and he becomes a member of the Scientific Council for Wikimédia France.

  • 2016


    The sociologist is appointed director of the Medialab research laboratory at Sciences Po.

  • 2018


    As part of the implementation of Act II of the Collège Universitaire Science Po Reforms, Dominique Cardon becomes the academic director of the Digital Culture module delivered via video to 2nd year students.

  • 2019


    Publication of his work Digital Culture at the Presses de Science-Po.

The Institut français and the sociologist

Dominique Cardon will speak in China from 6th to 17th december 2019 as part of a series of philosophical debates entitled:  " Think with algorithms" (« Penser avec les algorithmes »). 

These discussions are supported by the Institut Français as part of the d'Alembert Fund.

Learn more about the d'Alembert fund.


L'institut français, LAB