After his engineering and doctoral studies in France and the USA, Laurent worked for a few years in industry (equipment R&D, chemical risk assessment). He joined the European Commission in 1993 where he spent most of his efforts dealing with research and science to inform policy-making. He worked especially on health and environmental risk assessment and dealt with issues as diverse as nanotechnologies, antimicrobial resistance and the potential health effects of electromagnetic fields. This led him to gain hands on experience in stakeholder engagement and on how to apply scientific evidence in policy-making. Laurent is now heavily involved in bringing future oriented systemic thinking into EU policy-making by applying classic foresight methods and developing innovative foresight approaches.
In spite of the numerous works of foresight around pandemics over the last 15 years, many governments around the world have either not taken the warnings on board or even have dismantled the bodies that had been previously set up to that end (FR, USA…). A new reflection is needed to repair or strengthen the knowledge brokerage function that foresight should have between science and policy. How can the insights generated by foresight be considered as valid evidence for policy making? Are there tools that can reduce the distance between sources of policy advice and decision makers?