Edouard Brezin was a staff member of the Theory Department of the French Atomic Energy Commission from 1963 to 1986, Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique (1974-2004) and has been Professor of Physics at Ecole Normale Supérieure since 1989. Additionally, he was the non-Executive President of CNRS from 1992-2000. He has been a member of the French Academy of Sciences since 1991 and served as its President in 2005-2006. Additionally, he is a foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the Royal Society (UK) and has been a visiting professor at institutions the world over. His work has been widely published in journals, books and magazine articles. He is a graduate from Ecole Polytechnique, a member institute of ParisTech.
Comment apprécier la "distance" entre la recherche de base et les technologies de notre temps? Sommes-nous devant un fossé qui ne cesserait de se creuser ou au contraire serait-il en voie de comblement? Il est difficile de répondre de manière univoque à cette question: chacun trouvera pour y répondre des exemples destinés à justifier telle ou telle préconception. Peut-être une approche rétrospective nous permettra-t-elle d'éclairer un peu le débat.
How are we to assess the distance between basic research and the essential technologies of the modern age? Are we in the process of building the bridge that will unite the two domains or is the gulf between them growing wider by the day? Reconciling the interested parties in any definitive way remains difficult as each side can furnish multiple examples to support their perspective on the matter.