Aurélien BARRAU • Docteur honoris causa • Academic year 2023-2024

Astrophysicist and philosopher, poet, conscience-raiser for the preservation of our planet


Aurélien Barrau is a French astrophysicist with a doctorate in astrophysics and philosophy, a lover of poetry and literature, and the author of numerous scientific and popular articles and books. He is also recognized for his commitment to the defense of nature, his mobilization for the safeguarding of the "planet Earth system" and for sustainable development.

Barrau (c)-M.Chassepoux-800pxSpecializing in general relativity, black hole physics and cosmology, Aurélien Barrau is Director of the Grenoble-Alpes Center for Theoretical Physics and works at the CNRS Laboratory for Subatomic Physics and Cosmology in Grenoble. He is a professor at the University of Grenoble-Alpes. He has collaborated with Stanford University and Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study.

He holds a degree in engineering from the École nationale supérieure de physique de Grenoble and in physics of matter and radiation, and a doctorate in astrophysics from the Université Joseph-Fourier (now Université Grenoble-Alpes). His thesis is entitled " Astrophysique gamma de très haute énergie, étude du noyau actif de galaxie mrk501 et implications cosmologiques". He is an appointed member of the CNRS, theoretical physics section.

In 2016, Aurélien Barrau obtained a doctorate in philosophy from the Université Paris-Sorbonne with a thesis on " Anomies: a deconstruction of the dialectic of one and order, between Jacques Derrida and Nelson Goodman. "

He has authored or co-authored over a hundred research articles in peer-reviewed journals and is a referee for international journals in his scientific field.

Among the general public and the world of decision-makers, he is becoming known for his ecological commitment (a term he criticizes, incidentally, as " anthropocentric ") and more fundamentally civilizational commitment to limiting what he calls the "crash of the planet Earth system." In September 2018, following the resignation of French Minister Nicolas Hulot (Transition écologique et solidaire), he and more than 200 personalities (a majority of them actors, directors or filmmakers) published a resounding tribune in the newspaper Le Monde insisting on "The greatest challenge in the history of humanity" that we face.

Aurélien Barrau calls for a " re-enchantment of the human condition " by redefining our relationship with the world in a systemic way.

A philosopher and poet, Aurélien Barrau is close to the world of culture and interacts with numerous artists, writers and film-makers. He is a member of and writes for several art magazines(Hors sol, Diacritik, Formes élémentaires...) where he promotes dialogue between the arts and sciences.

He shares his convictions in books for the general public and more specialized publications, which bear witness to his desire to popularize his scientific research, his ecological commitment and his sensitivity to the arts and poetry in particular.

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© photo : M.Chassepoux - English translation: Deepl.com

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