ANALYSIS TOOLS FOR RESEARCH THROUGH INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND EXPERIMENTATIONS MEMOIRE :
MATRICE is an Equipement d’excellence, a government-supported program and part of the French “Grand Emprunt” (Big Loan) to boost research and innovation in the country. Among the first winners of these grants, MATRICE starts in 2011 an innovative technological platform and mobilises joint efforts of twenty four partners to develop tools for the research community; it major goal is to help better understand interaction between individual and social memory.
Dialectic, transdisciplinarity, mathematical modelling, complexity are the four pillars of this novel technological platform and of the paradigm change in Memory Studies we claim for.
Experimentation is needed to test our working hypotheses. It is experimentation that should prove, at the end of the day, the relevance of what we believe to summarize our major epistemological choices. First, dialectic: we stipulate that it is necessary to take into account interactions between the social and the Psyche. Transdisciplinarity is a logical consequence of that claim: we need to call for all fields concerned by memory dynamics; and not only at the beginning, when everyone has to present his/her subject definition, analytical methods and expected results, but also to set up together the questions and the experimental design to answer them. Given that we work on data for which a qualitative approach is not sufficient and computation is often very complex, mathematical modelling is another substantial feature of this approach. Finally, we meancomplexity in the sense of Edgar Morin: a system that contains various elements and is a different from a sum of its parts. Such a system develops singular properties specific to this whole. All the work with the ten-year MATRICE program will be based on these theoretical and empirical principals.
Two historical upheavals have been chosen as privileged, though not the only, topics, given their crucial importance: the Word War II and 9/11 2011. Only confrontation between academics and museum professionals, only joint mobilization of human and social studies, life sciences and engineering, will allow us to meet the challenge that goes beyond the experiments that we propose to question the research foundations in Memory Studies.