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The “invisibility cloak” of science fiction is now fact, albeit with limitations. O.R. could claim to have had the power of invisibility for years, though not by desire; what we want is the opposite - a high-visibility jacket! Indeed, part of the mission of the OR Society is to help make our presence more visible. But perception involves both the observed and the observer. And all of us have open and hidden parts.

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Ruth Kaufman, Inside OR February 2013

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Posted on 01 November 2013

Research

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon is the new President of the European Research Council

French mathematician Jean-Pierre Bourguignon is to become the next president of the European Research Council. Bourguignon has been selected to take up the role from January 2014.

A former chairman of the ERC's peer-review panel for young mathematicians, Bourguignon has been the director of France’s Institute for Advanced Scientific Studies in Bures-sur-Yvette near Paris since 1994. Bourguignon will take over from Helga Nowotny, the Austrian sociologist who has been in the position since 2010. The post, based in Brussels, will also include the responsibilities of secretary-general Donald Dingwell, a role that will not be renewed after Dingwell’s term ends in November.

The nomination of Bourguignon has been made following the efforts of a seven-member search committee, set up by the Commission to select Nowotny’s successor from three candidates. His appointment still has to be announced officially by the European Commission, a process that could be delayed as a result of the on-going Horizon 2020 negotiations. 66-year-old Bourguignon holds an engineering degree from the École Polytechnique near Paris. In 1977, he gained a PhD in maths at the University of Paris VII and began studying the mathematical aspects of physical theories and geometry.

In the same year as his PhD, Bourguignon was awarded a bronze medal from the French National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS). His term as research director at the centre ended in August this year. Bourguignon is also a member of its Ethics Committee of Sciences.