Yves Gingras has been a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) since 1986. He was initially appointed to the Department of Sociology, then to the Department of History, where he has been teaching since 1989. In 1997, Gingras co-founded the Observatoire des sciences et des technologies, where he currently holds the position of scientific director. The OST is an organisation devoted to “measuring” science, technology and innovation and affiliated with the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (CIRST). Fifteen years after he began working at the CIRST, he became director of the research centre from 2001 to 2005, at which time gave up the position in order to dedicate himself to the Canada Research Chair in the History and Sociology of Science. After a first term of 2004-2011, the Chair has been renewed for a second term ending in 2018.
After having obtained a Masters degree in Physics from the Université Laval, Gingras completed a doctorate in the History and Socio-politics of Science at the University of Montreal in 1984. In 1991, his thesis, entitled, Les physiciens canadiens : généalogie d’un groupe social, 1850-1950, was simultaneously published in French and in English under the title Physics and the Rise of Scientific Research in Canada. From 1984 to 1986, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. He returned to the United States in 2000, this time at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a Dibner Fellow. On several occasions he has held visiting professorships in France, at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and the Université Louis-Pasteur, as well as at the University of Toronto.
He has written, co-written or edited close to a dozen books, one hundred articles (of which more then half were refereed) and he has given more than two thousand conferences. He has supervised forty or so graduate students, received around the same number of major grants, and has successfully completed around many research contracts. He is on the editorial board of several scholarly journals, and regularly serves as a referee for articles, manuscripts and theses. He has also sat on many evaluation committees and boards of directors.
In addition to being a prolific researcher, Yves Gingras is well known for his popularization work. He can be heard regularly on the Années lumière radio show (Société Radio-Canada), where he has had a history of science column since 1997. He has also appeared as a commentator on various television shows, and has served as scientific advisor to publishers, production studios, etc.
Finally, several prizes have highlighted the high quality of Yves Gingras’ work. In 1988, the Institut d’histoire d’Amérique française awarded him the Prix Michel-Brunet for his book Histoire des sciences au Québec, co-written with Luc Chartrand and Raymond Duchesne. The British Society for the History of Science selected him as the 2001 recipient of the Ivan Slade Prize, which rewards the best critical contribution to the history of science, for his essay “What Did Mathematics Do to Physics?”. In 2005, he was awarded the Prix Gérard-Parizeau “in recognition of his exceptional work and his commitment to the promotion of the vast and complex field of history of science in Quebec”. In 2007, the Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) awarded him the Prix Jacques-Rousseau. Since 1980, this award has been given to scientists whose accomplishments have gone beyond their respective disciplines or areas of specialization, and who have successfully bridged the gap between different fields. Yves Gingras was selected as this year’s recipient for his many contributions to the field of STS, both in Quebec and internationally.