The CNRS and materials science policy in France


  • Dr. Gérard Beck

    Corresponding author
    1. CNRS DIMAT Ecole des Mines Parc de Saurupt, F-54042 Nancy Cedex (France)
    • CNRS DIMAT Ecole des Mines Parc de Saurupt, F-54042 Nancy Cedex (France)
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    • Gérard Beck studied physical sciences at the Faculty of Sciences of the Univesity of Nancy (France) from 1956 to 1961 and received his Doctorat es-sciences physiques in 1968, prepared at the Ecole des Mines of Nancy. He worked on the thermal and mechanical aspects of the quencing of metallic alloys and their effects on both structural phase transformations and internal stresses. As a research Director at CNRS he was in charge of the Metallic Materials Science and Engineering (Laboratory LSG2M) of the Ecole des Mines from 1979 to 1990 before being the Director of the Materials Programme of CNRS (PIRMAT) from 1990 to 1994. He is presently in charge of the national delegation for the research in Materials Sciences and Engineering (DIMAT) of CNRS.


An interdisciplinary program for materials science in France was established by the CNRS—the body responsible for basic scientific research—in 1982. The unity and coherence of materials science policy and the need to break down the barriers between traditional subjects were emphasized in 1994, when DIMAT, the interdepartmental delegation for materials science, was set up. Gérard Beck, who heads DIMAT, describes its aims, how it works, and its relationship with the CNRS.