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2009 CNRS Medals

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2009 CNRS Medals: UPMC’s Research Scientists Shine

credits : © CNRS

Accolades have been plentiful for UPMC’s research scientists this year. The university would like to congratulate the eight scientists from UPMC laboratories who have been awarded National Scientific Research Center (CNRS) Medals in 2009:  Serge Haroche (gold), Stéphan Fauve, Yannick Mellier, Sylvie Derenne, Pierre Astier (silver), François Bouchy, Karim Benzerara and Franck Montmessin (bronze).

In receiving the CNRS gold medalNouvelle fenêtre, Serge Haroche has obtained the highest scientific distinction in France. Each year, this award honors the work of an academic who has contributed in an exceptional way to the dynamism and influence of French research. This atomic physics and quantum optics specialist currently heads the “electrodynamics of simple systems” research team within the Kastler Brossel laboratoryNouvelle fenêtre (UPMC/ENS/CNRS).


This tremendous achievement is echoed by that of the four silver medalists from UPMC, rewarded for the originality, quality and importance of their research at the national and international levels. Pierre Astier, a research scientist from the cosmology team of the nuclear and high energy physics laboratoryNouvelle fenêtre (LPHNE), earned the silver medal for his strategy for observing the brightness of supernovae, which contributes to our understanding of dark matter. Also rewarded for his contribution to the understanding of dark matter, as well as for work on gravitational lenses, is Yannick Mellier, an astronomer at the Paris institute of astrophysicsNouvelle fenêtre (IAP, UPMC/CNRS). Sylvie Derenne, deputy director of the biogeochemistry of continental environmentsNouvelle fenêtre laboratory, received the medal for her innovative work on dating the emergence of life on earth using pyrolysis of organic matter. Stéphan Fauve, professor at the ENS laboratory of statistical physicsNouvelle fenêtre, was rewarded for his contributions to nonlinear physics applied to geoscience and for his experiments in the physics of turbulence.


Astronomer François Bouchy from the IAP, Karim Benzerara from the institute of mineralogy and condensed mediaNouvelle fenêtre (IMPMC) and Franck Montmessin from the space atmospheres and observations laboratoryNouvelle fenêtre (LATMOS), round off this series of successes with their bronze medals.

Together, these eight medals prove that UPMC gives its research scientists the possibility to reach their full potential. As such, these individual distinctions reinforce UPMC’s status as the top ranking French university.