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Philippe Lognonné and Frédéric Moynier, winners of the Prix de l’Académie des sciences 2020

Philippe Lognonné and Frédéric Moynier, winners of the Prix de l’Académie des sciences 2020

Publication date: 24/11/2020

Awards and Distinctions, Institute Life, Press, Research

On Tuesday 24 November, the Académie des Sciences announced the names of the 68 winners of the 65 prizes it awarded in 2020. This year, two of the Academy’s prizes will be awarded to IPGP researchers. In a series of videos, they and the winners from the University of Paris present the work that has won them these awards.

Philippe Lognonné, Professor at the University of Paris IPGP, receives the CNES Grand Prix – Astrophysics and Space Sciences.

This annual prize, created in 2017 and endowed with €10,000, is intended to reward the French or foreign author(s) of research carried out in a French laboratory for outstanding work in astrophysics, not limited to that involving space techniques. This year, Philippe Lognonné receives the prize jointly with Sylvestre Maurice from the Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées.

After starting out as a theorist of Earth vibrations, Philippe Lognonné turned to external and planetary geophysics. He formalised the coupling of earthquakes and tsunamis with the Earth’s ionosphere, while working with his colleagues to develop the sensors needed to meet the challenges of planetary seismology. He is one of the instigators of the NASA InSight mission and responsible for its seismometer.

Frédéric Moynier, professor at the University of Paris IPGP, receives the Grand Prix Madame Victor Noury, née Catherine Victoire Langlois – Fondation de l’Institut de France.

This annual prize, created in 1992 and endowed with 10,000 euros, is awarded on the recommendation of the Académie des Sciences, to encourage the development of science in its most diverse manifestations. It will be awarded alternately in the division of mathematical and physical sciences, sciences of the universe and their applications (this will be the case in 2020) and in the division of chemical, biological and medical sciences and their applications.

Frédéric Moynier carries out research into isotopic geo-cosmochemistry, from the study of the origin of the solar system to the formation and differentiation of the Earth, Moon and Mars. He highlighted a difference in isotopic composition between the Moon and the Earth, providing the first chemical evidence of the Moon’s formation by a giant impact, changing our understanding of planetary formation. He also opened up isotopic geochemistry to the medical sciences by discovering that Alzheimer’s disease altered the isotopic composition of metals in the brain, opening up new perspectives in the diagnosis of the disease.

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