Joël Bockaert

The Communication of living things Publication date : April 26, 2017

Specialist in the molecular mechanisms of cellular communication, Joël Bockaert, research director at CNRS and professor at the University of Montpellier, heads INSERM Institute of Functional Genomics and is a member of the Académie des Sciences.

For a long time homo sapiens, the social animal par excellence, believed himself to be the only being capable of communication. Then he noticed the pheromones exchanged by insects and discovered that all living beings, from trees to bacteria to every one of our cells, practice a chemical communication that is often extremely elaborate. But molecules are not the only vector of information, and every wave — radio, sound, even light — is used to carry languages capable of regulating the harmonious functioning of the organism or the society which today, via social networks, has access to an unprecedented "hypercommunication".From a biological point of view it would be appropriate to replace "I think I am" by "I communicate therefore I am", which calls into question the notion of a centralized organism: if each of our cells communicates with its neighbours, the central organization in question is bypassed and not informed, just as social networks have built a community largely independent of national governmental authorities.

A new approach to life and society.