The European and international dimension
Astronomy today is above all a European and international activity. The strategy of the Paris Observatory, a major centre for research and teaching with a world-wide outlook, has taken full account of this dimension.
The strategy of the Paris Observatory
The strategy of the Paris Observatory has taken full account of the European and international dimensions:
- At the European level, it has even intensified over the last few years in the context of the 7th PCRD and the European road map for the very large infrastructures ESFRI.
- The Observatoire founded the European EUROPLANET network, which helps planetologists to collaborate, via observations, research, communication and exchange.
- It forges institutional links with the European laboratories with which it collaborates on key subjects, in order to ensure that its teams participate fully in major international projects and are in the forefront of subjects of common interest.
- Beyond Europe, the Observatory has intensified its collaborative activity with a certain number of partner countries. Having signed general framework and specific agreements with its Brazilian and Chinese partners, the establishment is continuing to forge links with the USA, South Africa, Namibia, Russia, Vietnam, India, Australia.
The international dimension: a necessity
Research programmes often require the use of major expensive equipment which can only be developed and used in an international context; theoretical research and the creation of models also involve most of the time vast international consortia; the teaching of astronomy, a rather specific activity, is increasingly based on the organization of international schools and on exchange programs.
The Astronomy and Astrophysics Doctoral School of the Ile de France, of which the Paris Observatory is the mainstay, is extremely favourable to the reception of foreign students, and to the implementation of international double doctoral degrees. International thematic schools are organized regularly.
The International Center for Scientific Workshops (Centre International d’Ateliers Scientifiques - CIAS) constitutes an important pole of international activity: it organizes courses and workshops for French and foreign scientists, and, twice a year, courses for doctoral students and young Ph.Ds, from France and abroad.
The Observatory participates in associated European or international laboratories (such as the LEA « ELGA » for high energy astrophysics and the LIA « Origins » for cosmology and the exploration of exoplanetary systems), or establishes partnership agreements with other institutes (as for example the Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische physik in Garching in Germany).
Finally, the presentation of the Doctor Honoris Causa (honorary doctor) diploma is an undeniable mark of the international importance of the Paris Observatory.