Bernard Bigot, alumnus of the ENS Saint-Cloud and director of ENS Lyon between 2000 and 2002, passed away this Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Bernard Bigot was an alumnus of the ENS de Saint-Cloud (graduating in science in 1969). After gaining the prestigious “Agrégé” in physics, he went on to defend a thesis in chemistry at the Pierre and Marie Curie University, at the Sorbonne in Paris. His career has constantly included activities related to research, training, and innovation, making him a key player in higher education and research in France, in addition to his specialized field. Former President of the CEA, he was Director General of the international nuclear reactor ITER program, Foundation President for the University of Lyon and Foundation President for the Maison de la Chimie.
During his career, he held several positions in the Cabinet of Ministers for Education and Research. In 1993, he was appointed Scientific and Technical Director, then Director of Research and Technology in 1996, and finally Deputy Director in charge of Research. Claudie Haigneré, then Minister Delegate for Research and Technology, chose him to be his Chief of Staff in 2002, carrying out this function in conjunction with that of Deputy Director of the Luc Ferry Cabinet, Minister of Youth, Education and Research. He was appointed High Commissioner for Atomic Energy in 2003.
Bernard Bigot played a decisive role for our establishment. At the creation of ENS de Lyon in 1987, he was Deputy Head of Department. He was Director of Research from 1998 to 2000, he became director of ENS de Lyon between 2000 and 2002. His vision and actions have enabled our institution to develop with the support of local and national partners, increasing its influence in France and internationally. He accepted to be interviewed for the 30th anniversary, celebrating the opening of the Faculty of Science in Lyon.
Since Saturday, tributes have multiplied, describing Bernard as a tireless worker, as well as an exemplary civil servant who has greatly contributed to education and research in France. He was a man with a heightened sense of public service and trust in science. Today, the School has lost one of its founders, a very great scientist, a colleague and a friend.
Interview with Bernard Bigot for the 30th anniversary of the ENS de Lyon - September 2017