Members of the governing board of the La main à la pate foundation

  • Christian Amatore

Christian Amatore  is a Fellow of the International Society of Electrochemistry, Full  Member of the French Académie des Sciences, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry,  Honorary Fellow of the Chinese Chemical Society, and Honorary Member of the Israeli Chemical Society. Up to 2010 he served as one of the twenty members of the High Council of Science and  Technology which advised the French Governments on scientific matters. He received many national  and international awards and medals and has been made knight of the National Order of Meritus and  of the Order of Légion d’Honneur by the French Republic.

  • Jean-Francois Bach

Permanent Secretary, French Academy of Sciences.

Professor Bach has been Permanent Secretary of the French Academy of Sciences since 2006. He is a professor of Immunology and past head of the Immunology Unit at Necker Hospital in Paris. He is a past Director of a research laboratory at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and of the Advanced Research Studies Postgraduate Degree Program in Immunology. Both a physician and researcher, he has made numerous discoveries in the field of autoimmunity as has had remarkable success in translating these discoveries to the clinic.

  • Marc Mézard

Director of the Ecole Normale Supérieure
CNRS Research Director at Université de Paris Sud and Professor at Ecole Polytechnique, France

Marc Mezard received his PhD in 1984. He was hired in CNRS in 1981 and became research director in 1990 at Ecole Normale Supérieure. He joined the Université Paris Sud in 2001. He spent extensive periods in Rome University, in the KITP (Santa Barbara) and in MSRI (Berkeley). Author of about 150 publications, he has been awarded the silver medal of CNRS in 1990 and the Ampere price of the French academy of science in 1996.

  • John Holman

Professor John Holman studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge and thereafter became a teacher of Chemistry. He taught in a number of secondary schools, and between 1984 and 1994 he also worked as a writer and science education specialist, directing national and international science education programmes.

In 1994 he became Head of Watford Grammar School for Boys, one of England's most successful secondary schools, where he continued to teach chemistry. In September 2000 he left Watford to become Salters Professor of Chemical Education and Director of the Science Curriculum Centre at the University of York, where he teaches chemistry at undergraduate level.

In August 2004 he became Centre Director of the National Science Learning Centre, which opened in York in November 2005. In October 2006 he was appointed as the Government's first National STEM Director with responsibility overseeing the implementation of the STEM Programme Report. In 2010, John Holman, has been knighted for his services to education, in the Queen's New Year's Honours list.

  • Pierre Léna

Pierre Léna, born 1937, is an astrophycist, Emeritus Professor at the Université Paris Diderot, associated with the  Observatoire de Paris. After a career in University teaching and research, he currently holds the position of Delegate  for education at the French Académie des sciences. This Academy is concerned with the quality of science education at all levels: primary, secondary and tertiary education, especially regarding natural sciences. Since 1996,  jointly with Georges Charpak (Nobel Prize in physics 1992) and Yves Quéré, former co-chair of InterAcademy Panel  (IAP), Pierre Léna has been a co-founder of the La main à la pâte movement, which aims at introducing inquiry  pedagogy in primary education, improving teachers training and providing resources for them. Along with successfull  developments in France, this movement collaborates with a large number of countries in the world and in Europe  (over 50 in total) to improve their primary or compulosry education and benefit from exchanges on good practices.

  • Jacques Samarut

Jacques Samarut is world-renowned for his research on cancer-causing retroviruses and on the mechanisms of action of hormone receptors in embryonic development and cancer. He is the president of the new École normale supérieure de Lyon, and held leading positions with ENS prior to its reorganization.  He is also president of the scientific council of the Institut national de la recherche agronomique in Paris.  Jacques Samarut founded and chaired the Rhône-Alpes génopôle genomic research centre (2000-2005) and the Institut de génomique fonctionnelle de Lyon (2007-2009). He is responsible for 160 peer-reviewed writings, and has served on numerous national and international evaluation committees and juries. He continues to teach molecular biology at the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, and has been a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization since 1996.

  • Claude Thelot

Master Advisor Emeritus to the Cour des comptes. Former President of the Commission du débat national sur l’avenir de l’École

Ancien élève de l'École Polytechnique (Promotion X1965) et de l'ENSAE, administrateur de l'INSEE, il a exercé des responsabilités au sein de l'INSEE, notamment comme chef du service des études régionales de la direction régionale de Nantes et chef de la division emploi. Il a été nommé en 1990 directeur au Ministère chargé de l'Éducation nationale et de l'Enseignement supérieur, où il était responsable de l'évaluation et des statistiques, avant d'être nommé conseiller-maître à la Cour des Comptes (1998). Il y a été trois ans de suite, de 1998 à 2000, responsable du rapport annuel de la Cour des comptes sur la Sécurité sociale.


  • The rector of the Academy of Paris, Chancellor of universities, is the government commissioner, himself or his representative. He attends board meetings as adviser.