Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 2005 on stage
|Born||(1930-10-10)October 10, 1930
|Died||January 27, 2015(2015-01-27) (aged 84)
|Institutions||French Institute of Petroleum|
|Alma mater||Lyon School of Chemistry, Physics, and Electronics|
|Known for||Deciphering the process of metathesis|
|Notable awards||Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2005)|
My grandmother was fond of painting and playing the piano. She had been given lessons by Emmanuel Chabrier, who used to spend the summer months in nearby Membrolle.
Like all sciences, chemistry is marked by magic moments. For someone fortunate enough to live such a moment, it is an instant of intense emotion: an immense field of investigation suddenly opens up before you.
I have always been an avid reader of chemical literature, eager for what is new.
To be perfectly truthful, I was not a very brilliant student, even at chemistry school.
Various circumstances, mainly to do with my military service, prevented me from doing a Ph.D., and I have often regretted it, though you do need to choose the ‘right’ supervisor in the ‘right’ discipline – no easy task when you are totally inexperienced.
There is no difference between fundamental research and applied research. Although this is my view, based on personal taste and the areas I have worked in, it is not necessarily true for others.
My motto is more, ‘If you want to find something new, look for something new!’ There is a certain amount of risk in this attitude, as even the slightest failure tends to be resounding, but you are so happy when you succeed that it is worth taking the risk.
I used to spend my holidays there in my grandparents’ large family house, with my numerous cousins. When I die, I am going to be buried in the village cemetery.
I had no training in research as such, and as a consequence, I am, in a sense, self-taught.