PARIS SCIENCES & LETTRES (PSL)

Gérald Bronner

Professor of Sociology, Université Paris-Diderot

Gérald Bronner is a French social scientist and author. A professor of sociology at Université Paris-Diderot, he is also a member of the Institut Universitaire de France (University Institute of France), Académie des technologies and Académie nationale de médecine. He is one of the main proponents of cognitive sociology in France and is known for his work on collective beliefs. His research has focused on the key success factors of a belief in social contexts. His work covers a wide range of topics, including the mechanisms at play in entering a cult, how children stop believing in Father Christmas, risk perception and political and religious extremist thoughts. His aim is to understand and help formalize a theoretical framework on the formation of representations and beliefs.

He was among the first scientists, in the early 2000s, to warn against the potential negative effects of information market deregulation via widespread use of Internet. He summarized these processes in La Démocratie des crédules (2013; tr. Belief and Misbelief Asymmetry on the Internet, London, ISTE, 2015), where he demonstrates how hoaxes and fake news are able to rapidly spread and form the basis to layered arguments such as conspiracy theories.

Gérald Bronner

's Books