Dr Serge Plattard

Former Counsellor for Science and Technology at French Embassy London

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Science and Technology Counsellor, French Embassy, London
Policy Fellow Alum, Centre for Science and Policy

Serge Plattard has almost forty years of experience and distinguished service as a researcher, university lecturer, and senior official in the international science and technology community. After completing a PhD in Nuclear Physics at the Université d’Orsay in France, he taught nuclear physics and (later) science and technology planning, technology management and industrial innovation at post-graduate level, both at the Université d’Orsay and the Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales. His ongoing research in low energy nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics for the Nuclear and Neutron Physics Division of the French Atomic Energy Commission took him, among other places, to Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA.

In 1981 he became a member of the policy planning staff in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and until 1986 he led long-term policy planning in the Programmes and Planning Directorate of the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). From 1987 to 1990 he served as Deputy Counsellor for Scientific and Technological Affairs at the French Embassy in New Delhi, India; he then moved to the French Embassy in Tokyo as the Counsellor for Science and Technology, and became Director of the Liaison Office in Tokyo of the Société Franco-Japonaise des Techniques Industrielles, before moving once more to the USA in 1994 to serve as Counsellor for Science and Technology at the French Embassy in Washington DC (as well as Head of the French Scientific and Technological Mission to the United States, and Permanent Representative of the French Universities.)

In 1998 he returned to France as Director of International Relations of the French Space Agency CNES and a member of the French Defence Science Council. In 2004 he became Secretary General/CEO of the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) and later Consultant to the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. Finally in 2008, he acted as CNES representative in Brussels for the French Presidency of the European Union, before moving to London Counsellor for Science and Technology to the French Embassy in 2008. He is a Knight in the Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur.

Serge's primary objective for the Policy Fellowship is to improve his professional network within the University, with a view to:

  • identifying frontier research issues in the topic areas of interest (astrophysics, materials science, Nanoscience/nanotechnologiesm, molecular biology, ageing, innovation), and learning how and where cutting-edge research is being undertaken in these disciplines;
  • identifying potential opportunities for collaboration between Cambridge and universities in France; and
  • sharing knowledge about the interaction of policy and research (that is research for policy and policy for research) in both the UK and France - more specifically, how do researchers/academics at the University convey the relevant messages to Whitehall and influence decision makers? How can decision makers be made more receptive to scientific issues?