In memorium - Jean-Pierre Massué


Jean-Pierre Massué

16th March, 1939 – 8th October, 2020


It is with great sadness that we have to report that Dr Jean-Pierre Massué passed away suddenly on 8th October 2020.

Jean-Pierre was one of the 19 Founding Members of E-MRS in 1983 as a representative of the Council of Europe together with Joseph Wurm†, a director at the European Commission.

Jean-Pierre had a life of many facets. He obtained his first PhD focused on high energy physics at the University of Strasbourg in 1964 with much of the research work being undertaken at CERN in Switzerland and in 1970 obtained a second PhD in Physical Sciences also at the University of Strasbourg.

He spent several years as a Post Doc researcher working firstly in the UK at the Culham Nuclear Facility and then in USSR, at the Joint Institute tor Nuclear Research in Dubna, and subsequently he continued his research work in the United States at Batavia and Berkeley.

Moving partially from Science to Diplomacy in 197, he joint the Council of Europe (CoE) and had an outstanding international career, first as the scientific adviser to the Parliamentary Assembly of the CoE and in 1977 was promoted to the poisiton as Head of the Division of Higher Education and Research, directly related to the responsible Government Ministers of the 47 member states, from Canada to Japan. In this unique position, he initiated and developed a large number of important initiatives: organisation of scientific and parliamentary hearings, setting up of European scientific networks in interdisciplinary fields (environment, health, culture, legal and social questions, communication, ...)

He established the “EUR-OPA“ intergovernmental agreement covering 27 member states on major risks and became the Executive Secretary.

In 1993, he joined the Environmental Division of the CoE where he initiated important projects to coordinate the efforts to develop effective risk prevention in Europe and the Mediterranean countries. He was a member of the Scientific and Administrative boards of many European Official structures.

When joining E-MRS as a Founding Member he brought enormous international experience and high level contacts, which facilitated the rapid development of E-MRS influence, not only in Europe, but also in Asia, by:

  • organising at an E-MRS conference the first East-West Exhibition of Soviet High Tech developmend in presence of Vladimir Putin which was opened by the President of the CoE. A second event was organised in St Petersburg.
  • initiating a study by E-MRS of the Innovation procedures developed in China, with the Chinese ministry.

Jean-Pierre was elected President of E-MRS 2006 - 2007, before becoming Senator for life. He was co-director of our UNESCO Chair for Materials at the University Strasbourg and also Senator of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Throughout his time as a member of E-MRS, his enthusiasm was unbounded and he frequently proposed new projects, especially those intended to bring our Society into closer collaboration with the arts and cultural heritage. He had recently accepted a position as Professor of Ethics at the Moscow University and was close to completing a new book.

E-MRS has lost an invaluable colleague and the world is a lesser place without him.

Paul Siffert, Sylvette Pfister

  Lettre ouverte à Jean Pierre de la part du Prof. Jacques Amouroux.