Science History Institute Mourns Loss of Heritage Council Member Bernard Bigot

The respected French scientist passed away suddenly on May 14, 2022.

May 24, 2022

The Science History Institute is saddened by the loss of Bernard Bigot, a longtime member of our Heritage Council (now Affiliates Council), a select group that provides support and collaboration between the Institute and numerous affiliated organizations around the world. The well-respected French scientist, physical chemist, and civil servant died suddenly on May 14, 2022, at the age of 72.

Bigot served for more than 15 years as president of the Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie, the cosponsor of the Institute’s Franklin-Lavoisier Prize, an international award he is credited with creating. The prestigious prize recognizes meritorious efforts in the preservation or promotion of the entwined scientific heritage of France and the United States.

Under his leadership, the Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie became a vibrant home for chemists—both nationally and internationally—welcoming a wide spectrum of associations and learned societies, and hosting numerous events and activities.

At the time of his death, Bigot was also serving as director general of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), an ambitious project with the goal of creating the first fusion device to produce net energy. A true visionary, Bigot played a vital role in developing the level of international diplomacy needed to realize a project like ITER, a massive joint venture that includes the contributions of thousands of engineers and scientists.

Photo of Bernard Bigot courtesy of ITER.

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