Emmanuel Henry is Professor of Sociology at Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL University. He is currently working on the links between scientific knowledge (and ignorance), expertise, and public policy in the field of public health (mostly regarding occupational and environmental health). He was previously in charge of the research program INDEX granted by the French National Research Agency on the independency of expertise in the field of public health. As head of this program, he co-edited a Dictionary of expertise (Dictionnaire critique de l’expertise. Santé environnement travail, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, 2015). He also is author of two books, the first about the issue of asbestos in France (Amiante: un scandale improbable. Sociologie d’un problème public, Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2007) and the second about the role of ignorance and undone science in the production of public inaction in the occupational health field (Ignorance scientifique et inaction publique. Les politiques de santé au travail, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, 2017).
His research projects cover two main areas. The first concerns the regulation of chemicals and how scientific knowledge and expertise shape the public policies dealing with toxics and hazards. Although his research focuses primarily on the regulation of occupational hazards, his work also addresses the boundaries with environmental health impacted by the proliferation of toxic products in the general environment. As part of a research team, he has just published an article (“Residues: Rethinking Chemical Environments”, Engaging Science, Technology, and Society, v. 4, p. 165-178, june 2018) and is finalizing the publication of a book. The second project is a social study of the tools developed within epidemiology to measure the effects of work and environment on the public health, particularly population attributable fractions and other types of impact measures. He will study how those tools were built, how they are used and which effects they produce. This research will help to better understand what kind of issues epidemiology can help to address and what other problems it is less prepared to apprehend.