Scientific Watch N°12 - From 09/26/2015 to 10/09/2015

Please find every other two weeks a small Scientific Watch regarding cultural and scientific activities in France. [2015-N°12 from 09/26/2015 to 10/09/2015]

From 09/26/2015 to 10/09/2015

Editors :

Julie METTA, Scientific Officer - Hong Kong

Justin MONIER, Scientific Officer - Hong Kong

Isabelle SAVES, Attachée for Scientific & Academic Affairs - Hong Kong

Contact :




1- Energy & Environment

1.1- The onset of spring more resistant to global warming

Through measures conducted during a long period on 1245 European forests by an international scientific consortium, including researchers from the Laboratory of Climate Sciences and the Environment (CEA / CNRS / UVSQ), it has been demonstrated that the emergence of the first leaves spring is becoming less sensitive to global warming over the past fifteen years. The greening of forests is observed more and more early, but the trend now seems to occur more slowly. This result cope the idea that vegetation is growing for a longer period of time because of global warming. These results were published in the journal Nature on October 1.

Published on the CNRS’s website, on the 01st of October 2015 Source

1.2- REGISTER YOUR EVENT – Climate change

From september to december 2015, ArtCOP21 will connect hundreds of thousands of people to the climate challenge through an extensive global program of over 180 major public art installations, exhibitions, concerts, performances, talks, conferences, workshops, family events and film screenings, across Paris and worldwide. All these events will highlight the need for governments to support strong climate action during the COP21 in Paris.

Find out more information in the ArtCop21 website

1.3- Climate: a draft agreement on the negotiating table

This is a decisive step on the road to COP21 (the climate conference to be held in December in Paris) which has been crossed. The two co-chairs of the debates published, on Monday 5th of October, a draft agreement. Published by the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the new twenty pages document sketches for the first time a framework to seal an agreement among the 195 member states to contain a 2 degrees rise in earth’s temperature.

Published on the Le monde’s website, on the 06th of October 2015 Source


2- Health & Society

2.1- Trouble in wine paradise as Bordeaux village grapples with cancer rates five times national average

A village in south-west France that produces some of the world’s most famous sweet white wines has been hit by claims of a “rocketing” cancer rate and concerns that cases among children may be linked to pesticides. A new report has said scientists cannot rule out the possibility of a link to pesticides sprayed on the vineyards of Sauternes, overlooked by the village’s nursery and primary school. In December 2012, Jean-Pierre Manceau, Preignac’s former mayor and a researcher at the renowned CNRS national science research centre, alerted authorities to its cancer rate. Indeed, Preignac, which lies 25 miles south of Bordeaux and has a population of 2,200, has a child cancer rate five times the national average.

Published on the Telegraph’s website on the 28th of September 2015 Source or Published on the Pourquoi Doctor’s website on the 07th of October 2015 Source


3- Research and Education

3.1- Universities: the France misfiled by the Times Higher Education

The 2015-2016 edition of the world ranking of universities Times Higher Education, published on Thursday October 1 is confirming the trend of previous years: American universities are losing ground, while European win seats.

However, France ranking has decreased from 2014 to 2015, losing one of its two schools in the top 100, and three in the top 200.

Published on "Le monde"’s website on the 01st of October 2015 Source

3.2- Adrien Deliège won the 2015 edition of « My thesis in 180 seconds! ».

France has hosted, on the Tuesday, October 1, the final of the international contest "My thesis in 180 s". Adrien Deliège, a Belgium PhD student in mathematics, won the competition with his thesis entitled « Analyse de séries temporelles climatiques basée sur les ondelettes » related of the impact of the El Nino phenomenon on climate change.

Please find out more information about this competition and the winner on the CNRS website

3.3- French Science national festival

Handling, testing, participate in laboratory visits, contact professional researchers, discover the trades of research, stimulate your taste for science! During the Science Festival, there will be thousands of free events throughout France (for now 1367 events are registered). This is the occasion, discover science and meet thousand of French researchers.

Find out more information on the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education, Training and Scientific Research’s website

3.4- CNRS Youth Conference "Science and Citizens": 25 years of debates about science

450 young Europeans and one hundred researchers from all disciplines met from the 16th to the 18th of October 2015 at the Futuroscope in Poitiers, for the 25th CNRS Youth Conference "Science and Citizens". They debated and exchangde on issues of science related to the COP21, the banking crisis and the place of religion in our society. For 25 years, this appointment has allowed researchers and young people to think together on tomorrow’s society. This event is open to the public.

Date : From the 16th to the 18th of October 2015
Venue : Palais des congrès du Futuroscope – Poitiers, FRANCE

Article published on the CNRS’s website on the 29st of September 2015 Source

3.5- Apollo Laser: World power record expected in 2016

At the end of 2016, Apollo will be the first laser in the world to achieve the power of 5 petawatts (PW), far more than the best current lasers. This installation, carried by the CNRS in partnership with the “Ecole Polytechnique”, the Atomic Agency Commission, the Optique Institute Graduate School, ENSTA ParisTech, Paris-Sud The University and the Pierre and Marrie-Currie University , is designed to meet 10 PW in the near futur. The laser system was installed in the old building of the linear accelerator at Saclay, in the heart of the new “Université Paris-Saclay” (southern of Paris). The installation was inaugurated on the 29th of September 2015.

Article published on CNRS’s website on the 29th of September 2015 Source

3.6- Micro-Supercapacitor’s capacity will be multiplied by thousand thanks to news electrode

Developed over the past ten years, micro-supercapacitors are an interesting alternative to micro-batteries due to their high power and long time life. But until now, they were storing significantly less energy than micro-batteries, which limited their use. Researchers from the Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems (LAAS-CNRS) in Toulouse and National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS) in Quebec come together to develop an electrode material that allows these electrochemical capacitors to approach the results of the batteries without losing their benefits. This work was published on September 30, 2015 in the Journal of Advanced Materials.

Article published on CNRS’s website on the 30th of September 2015 Source

3.7- POLYPERL project: scientists at the bedside of pearl oysters

In 30 years, pearl farming has become an essential activity for French Polynesia’s economy. In this sector faced by a big crisis, POLYPERL project aims both to advance fundamental knowledge of the pearl oyster and culture, but also to produce operational tools for professionals in the sector. Launched in February 2012, this research project funded by ANR, for a period of 4 years, focuses on sustainable and integrated management of pearl farming in French Polynesia.

Article published on ANR’s website on the 30th of September 2015 Source


4- Technology & Transport

4.1- A French company Alpha electric-powered unveils the world’s first hydrogen-powered electric bike emitting only pure water

The world’s first commercial electric bike running on hydrogen with only pure water as waste, so its makers claim, has been unveiled in France – and already snapped up by the country’s post office. It takes five minutes to charge and has a battery life of 100 kilometres (62 miles) and its Gallic makers claim it is a “world first”. The Alpha bike, which hides its hydrogen batteries in its frame, leaves an almost neutral carbon footprint, its designers at Pragma Industries in Bidart, near Biarritz, southwestern France insist.

Published on the Telegraph’s website on the 01st of October 2015 : - Source

4.2- "Paris downtown to go car free for a day

Private cars with petrol or diesel engines have been banned from many parts of Paris downtown on the Sunday, September 27, in an attempt to convince residents they could reduce pollution and congestion by living without them. Only buses, taxis and electric cars were allowed in areas affected by the day-long ban, which covers about a third of the city and comes two months before the UN Paris summit on climate change.

Published on the Telegraph’s website on the 26th of September 2015 : - Source

4.3- "Alternative Fuels: Project Launch Hydrogen Mobility Europe

Many countries from Europe are launching a common project to promote the utilisation od Hydrogen in transport. . Called Hydrogen Mobility Europe (H2ME), this project provides, by 2019, the deployment of 200 electric vehicles using hydrogen (Daimler and Hyundai), 125 trucks (Symbio Fcell in collaboration with Renault) and the creation of 29 new hydrogen charging stations in 10 countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Norway, Netherlands, UK and Sweden).

Published on "Actu Environnement"’s website on 05th of October 2015 : - Source

4.4- Google likes the Bot2karot, the 3D printed robot gardener made by a French boy.

The Google Science Fair is an international science and technology competition for young children 13 to 18 year-old. This year, Eliott Sarrey, a French 14 year-old boy, won the competition with his small robot named bot2karot. His robot help to maintain and optimize a connected garden. He pocketed the sum of $ 10,000 (60 000 HKD) and got a one-year support by a mentor from the Mountain View company to help him develop his project.

Published on the "Les imprimantes 3D"’s website on 30th of September 2015 : - Source

publié le 09/10/2015

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