Federico Brandmayr


Federico is a postdoctoral research associate on the project Expertise Under Pressure, funded by the Humanities and Social Change International Foundation. In his current project at CRASSH, he studies various forms of scepticism toward social knowledge and analyses what is peculiar about how the public perceives the work of social scientists in contrast with that of natural scientists. In particular, he investigates debates in which scholars in the social sciences and humanities are blamed for the persistence of social problems, focusing on the argument of the “sociological excuse”, according to which, by pretending to explain bad actions and conditions (such as crime, poor health, or unemployment) social scientists are actually providing excuses for people engaging in such actions or experiencing such conditions. More broadly, Federico is interested in the history and philosophy of the social sciences, the sociology of intellectuals and experts, the public perception of science and the political use of knowledge.

Prior to joining CRASSH, he was a research and teaching fellow at Sorbonne University in Paris, and has also been a visiting researcher at the University of Trento, at the University of Cambridge, and the University College London. He holds degrees in politics, sociology and philosophy from the University of Trieste, Italy, and Sorbonne University. 



“Hétérogénéité et flexibilité dans les usages politiques de l’argument de l’‘excuse sociologique’.” Zilsel. Science, technique, société 4 (2018): 59-92.  

“Order and Conflict Theories of Science as Competing Ideologies.” Social Epistemology 32.3 (2018): 175-195.

“How Social Scientists Make Causal Claims in Court: Evidence from the L’Aquila Trial.” Science, Technology & Human Values 42.3 (2017): 346-380. 

Book reviews and review essays

“Bruno Karsenti et Cyril Lemieux, Socialisme et sociologie.” Revue française de science politique 68.1 (2018): 148-150.

“Bernard Lahire, Pour la sociologie. Et pour en finir avec une prétendue ’culture de l’excuse’.” Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia 57.4 (2016): 824-828.

“Phaedra Daipha, Masters of Uncertainty. Weather Forecasters and the Quest for Ground Truth.” Revue française de sociologie 57.3 (2016): 597-600.

“The Unanticipated Consequences of Doing Consequential Sociology.” European Journal of Sociology 56.3 (2015): 498-508. 



Expertise Under Pressure, Postdoctoral Research Associate


January 2019 - Present


.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Profile last updated: