Paris, March 13, 2008

Jean-Pierre Luminet wins the 2007 European Science Communicator of the year prize

Jean-Pierre Luminet is one of the three Laureates of the European Science Communication Prizes announced by the European Union on 12 March 2008 in Brussels. The well-known astrophysicist from the Paris Observatory (Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Université Paris-Diderot) won in the category “best European science communicator of the year”.

The aim of the European Science Communication Prize, awarded annually by the European Union since 2004, is to raise the awareness level of the general public with regard to science, consolidate the dissemination of research on scientific issues and encourage young Europeans to opt for a career in science by recognizing the most successful communication initiatives in the scientific field. There are three categories in all: best science communicator, best science writer and best scientific audiovisual documentary of the year.

When awarding Jean-Pierre Luminet the top prize in the first category, the European jury underlined his contribution as “an exceptional science communicator. Working through print, TV, exhibitions, music and other arts, he delivers accessible information of the highest quality and communicates the fascination of scientific research to publics of all ages and cultures”.

The three Laureates were selected by a panel of scientific experts and will each receive 60,000 euros.

Born in 1951, Jean-Pierre Luminet is an astrophysicist at LUTH, Laboratoire "Univers et Théories" (Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot). A recognized specialist for his work on cosmology and relativist gravitation, this CNRS senior researcher has been the source of major breakthroughs on black holes and cosmology. His greatest success concerns the now famous models of "univers chiffonnés" (dodecahedron) in which the complex form of space generates hall-of-mirror images. The history of cosmology is another of Jean-Pierre Luminet’s passions and more particularly the emergence of the Big Bang concept.

He is a member of several academies and scientific societies and has already received several major awards, including the Georges Lemaître International Prize in 1999 for his research in cosmology and the 2006 Grand Prix 2006 from the Academy of Sciences for scientific information. In addition to his exceptional work in the field of astrophysics, his extensive output in both literary and artistic fields were also recognized when he was made an officer of Arts and Letters. In his capacity as both writer and poet, he has published three novels that were well-received by the critics, along with several books of poetry. He has also exhibited his drawings and etchings in France and abroad, some of which were inspired by scientific discoveries.


Jean-Pierre Luminet
T 01 45 07 74 23

Public Information Officer
Julien Guillaume (CNRS)
T 01 44 96 46 35

Frédérique Auffret (Observatoire de Paris)
T 01 40 51 20 29

INSU/CNRS Communication
Philippe Chauvin
T 01 44 96 43 36


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