Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, Minister of Culture, pays tribute to Maurice Lévy, a man of science and father of the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie.

A physicist of excellence, having combined teaching and research activities throughout his career, in France and the United States, Maurice Lévy will become the best expert in scientific pedagogy, while managing the largest French scientific institutions.

In the late 1950s, at the invitation of the philosopher Gaston Berger, he took part in the adventure of creating the International Centre for Foresight, an innovative institution whose mission was to study the impacts of science and technology on people and society. This experience convinced him of the need to develop links between academia and industry.

Scientific adviser at the French Embassy in the United States in 1967, then President of the European Space Research Council in 1973 and finally President of the National Centre for Space Studies from 1975, Maurice Lévy is actively developing international scientific cooperation on both sides of the Atlantic. It thus helped forge a modern space Europe and initiated the Ariane Espace programme.

Visionary and passionate about the idea of transmitting knowledge, he was commissioned in 1977 by the President of the Republic, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, to write a report on «the interest for France to create a museum of sciences, techniques and industries». He writes as “to make science understood is as important a task as presenting to the public the most significant works of artistic creation.” This founding report foreshadowed the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie, of which he became its first president in 1985. Within this new institution, he can develop his deepest convictions: the scientific culture must be accessible to all citizens in order to develop the critical mind of individuals, particularly as regards the perspectives and ambivalences brought about by the great progress of the time. He wanted the name “cité” to recall “the continuity between the world of knowledge, the world of technology and that of man in society”.

Maurice Lévy left a deep impression on all those who knew him with his fine intelligence, the vastness of his scientific culture and his great benevolence. DNA of the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie, the «Lévy report» remains a reference for all the teams of the institution.

Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin extends her sincere condolences to her family, friends and loved ones.