Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March, the Toulouse Space Centre (CST) played host to CNES’s JC1 young researchers’ forum, where the agency’s new young doctoral and post-doctoral recruits came together to discuss such fundamental issues as space’s contribution to science, humankind and exploration of the Universe. The event also gave them the chance to visit some of the CST’s top-class facilities. The 2017 class of young researchers at CNES has taken the name of Aglaonice of Thessaly, considered to be the first female astronomer, who lived in the 2nd century B.C. and is thought to have learned how to predict lunar eclipses.
CNES’s programme of PhD and post-doctoral research is organized by its Directorate of Innovation, Applications and Science (DIA), working alongside the agency’s other directorates. The goal of this programme is to advance learning through research and thus lay the foundations for the future. Every year, CNES provides funding or co-funds for three years 100 PhD and post-doctoral researchers in all fields of science and technology covered by the agency for students from a broad range of backgrounds.
On this occasion, Frédéric Pradeilles, DIA’s Deputy Director of Science, gave a talk on the stakes of space. In particular, he pointed to the discoveries that have opened up new avenues for gravitational wave science, the key contribution of space to Earth observation and the applications that space is serving in our daily lives. During his address, he said: “You have the wonderful chance to be entering a domain that is set to spawn big projects and make huge advances. Space is serving humankind, and you will be part of this adventure. Welcome to CNES and I wish you every success in your future careers.”
This two-day event was a great opportunity for the young researchers of the Aglaonice of Thessaly class to embrace the spirit of space!