Philosophy of Engineering and Artifact
in the Digital Era

an international conference

2010 October 26-28
“Stefan cel Mare” University of Suceava

Chapouthier Georges


- Born March 27, 1945 in southwest France (near Bordeaux).
- Spent his childhood in Paris, where his father was professor of Ancient Greek.
- Studied science at tertiary level, at the prestigious Ecole Normale Superieure, majoring in biology (1964).
- Moved to Strasbourg (eastern France) and began research into the biochemistry of memory processes
- Took up position as researcher at the French Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), 1968.
- Postdoctoral internship in Houston (Texas), 1969-1970
- Returned to France in 1970, continuing research on memory, investigating mice, and at the same time began studies in philosophy.
- Doctorate in neurobiology (on memory and mice) in 1973
- Married to a Malaysian journalist and writer (1973) and father of four children
 - Doctorate in philosophy (Lyon, 1986) on the subject of the difficult moral relationship between humans and animals, including the question of animal experimentation.
- Currently (2010) senior researcher [Directeur de Recherche] at the CNRS (based at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris), member of the editorial board of several magazines, including PLoS ONE (Online, Academic editor), Revue Philosophique (France) and Activitas Nervosa Superior (Czech Republic).
 - Visiting lecturer at several universities in France, and has spoken at many international meetings and universities around the world.

Subjects of Research

Georges Chapouthier’s and his research team have investigated the genetic, physiological and pharmacological bases of memory and anxiety processes in mice, and have published many articles, including two in the magazine Nature.
Through Mendelian selection, his team created two mouse strains, one sensitive to an anxiogenic compound, and the other resistant to it. The main finding has been the strong link between memory processes and anxiety: for learning to be optimal, it must involve a moderate level of anxiety.
Chapouthier has written several books on philosophy, mostly in French, looking at what a living being is, the complexity of organisms, relationships between humans and animals and differences between human rights and animal rights.

Main articles

L.Prado de Carvalho, G.Grecksch, G.Chapouthier, J.Rossier, Anxiogenic and non-anxiogenic benzodiazepine antagonists, Nature, 1983, 301, 64-66

P.Venault, G.Chapouthier, L.Prado de Carvalho, J.Simiand, M.Morre, R.H.Dodd, J.Rossier, Benzodiazepine impairs and ß-carboline enhances performance in learning and memory tasks, Nature, 1986, 321, 864-866

G.Chapouthier, J.M.Launay, P.Venault, C.Breton, P.Roubertoux, W.E.Crusio, Mice selected for differences in sensitivity to a benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonist, Brain Res., 1998, 787, 85-90

E.M.Lepicard, P.Venault, F.Perez-Diaz, C.Joubert, A.Berthoz, G.Chapouthier, Balance control and posture differences in the anxious BALB/cByJ mice compared to the non anxious C57BL/6J mice, Behav. Brain Res., 2000, 117 (1-2), 185-195

G.Chapouthier, P.Venault, A pharmacological link between epilepsy and anxiety?, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 2001, 22(10), 491-493

G.Chapouthier, P. Venault, GABA-A Receptor Complex and Memory Processes, Medicin. Chemistry Reviews online, 2004, 1, 91-99

P. Venault, G.Chapouthier, From the Behavioral Pharmacology of Beta-Carbolines to Seizures, Anxiety and Memory, TheScientificWorldJournal, 2007, 7, 204-223, online (


Main books

G.Chapouthier, J.J.Matras, Introduction au fonctionnement du système nerveux (codage et traitement de l'information), Editions MEDSI, Paris, 1982.

G.Chapouthier, Au bon vouloir de l'homme, l'animal, Editions Denoël, Paris,1990.

G.Chapouthier, J.C.Nouët (editors), The Universal Declaration of Animal Rights, Comments and Intentions, Editions Ligue Française des Droits de l’Animal, Paris,1998

G.Chapouthier, L'homme, ce singe en mosaïque, Préface de Patrick Blandin, Editions Odile Jacob, Paris, 2001.

G.Chapouthier, Biologie de la mémoire, Editions Odile Jacob, Paris, 2006.

M-H Parizeau, G. Chapouthier (sous la direction de),  L’être humain, l’animal et la technique, Les Presses de l’Université Laval, Québec, Canada, 2007

G. Chapouthier, Kant et le chimpanzé –Essai sur l’être humain, la morale et l’art, Editions Belin, Paris, 2009