Four internationally renowned figures are awarded Doctor Honoris Causa by Université Paris-Saud

On 18 October 2018, in the presence of Daniel Filâtre, Rector of the Académie of Versailles and Chancellor of the Universities, President Sylvie Retailleau awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa to Jeffrey Drazen, Irina Bokova, Fabiola Gianotti and Maciej Zworski, four internationally-renowned figures with whom Université Paris-Sud has maintained privileged links for many years.

Jeffrey Drazen

After having studies applied physics at Tufts University (United States) and medicine at Harvard Medical School, Jeffrey Drazen is currently Professor of Physiology at the Department of the Environment at Harvard Medical School.

He has published more than 600 articles, editorials and review articles and is Editor-in-Chief of Cecil’s Medicine, an important medical textbook. He was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000.
During his appointment, the Journal saw its ISI impact factor increase from 28 to 79, the highest impact factor for any journal publishing original research.
Jeffrey Drazen was sponsored by Prof. Marc Humbert, the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Université Paris-Sud.

Irina Bokova

Irina Bokova, who was appointed as Bulgaria’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO in 1980, became a member of the Executive Council in 2007. At that time, she was also Vice-President of the French-speaking Group of Ambassadors.

In 2009, she was appointed Director General of UNESCO and became the first woman to lead this organisation.

She is a graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and the University of Maryland.

Irina Bokova was sponsored by Prof. Boris Bernabé, Dean of the Jean Monnet Faculty of Law-Economics-Management at Université Paris-Sud.

Fabiola Gianotti

Fabiola Gianotti is an Italian physicist and has been Director General of the European Organisation for Research in High-Energy Physics (CERN) since 2016.
She is the first woman appointed to this leadership position since CERN’s foundation in 1954.

She has a PhD in Experimental Sub-nuclear Physics from the University of Milan.
Fabiola Gianotti was sponsored by Daniel Fournier, CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) Emeritus Research Director at the Linear Accelerator Laboratory (LAL) at Université Paris-Sud’s Orsay Faculty of Science.

Maciej Zworski

Maciej Zworski, who is a Polish and Canadian citizen, is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He was firstly a professor at John Hopkins University, and then at University of Toronto, and is now Professor of Mathematics at the University of California Berkeley.

His interests are focused on microlocal analysis, scattering theory and partial differential equations.

He was Visiting Professor at Université Paris-Sud in 1990, 2003 and 2009.

Maciej Zworski was sponsored by Nicolas Burq, Professor at the Institute of Mathematics at Université Paris-Sud’s Orsay Faculty of Science.

Because universities are designed to extend beyond national borders

Created by the decree on 26 June 1918, the Doctor Honoris Causa degree gives French universities the opportunity to honour foreign eminent scientists who have provided services to science, literature and the arts. The origin of this tradition could go back to the early 17th century, its awarding by universities to honour learned figures whose knowledge and wisdom were considered as particularly remarkable. Nowadays, this title is awarded to foreigners.

This selection rightly highlights that universities have a role to extend beyond national borders, that they are in essence higher education and research institutions that are even part of a global dimension, their freedom of expression and natural co-operation.

By honouring five leading international figures with whom its laboratories have maintained privileged links for many years, Université Paris-Sud intended to remind us of its multi-disciplinary and international perspective.
The ceremony finished with a concert by the Orsay Campus Symphony Orchestra and Choir who performed extracts from Rossini’s Stabat mater conducted by Martin Barral.