“There are two sides to humanity”

Hubert Reeves reading at one of his musical shows with the Ensemble Calliopée, Mozart et les étoiles

Popular scientist and environmental lobbyist Hubert Reeves is a key public face of ecology in France. Jane Hanks spoke exclusively to him on a wide range of subjects, from astrophysics to airports

Hubert Reeves, astrophysicist, advisor to Nasa, Director of Research at the National Centre for Scientific Research in France (CNRS), winner of the Albert Einstein award and Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, has dedicated much of his time and his great knowledge to explain the mysteries of our universe to the general non-scientific public.

He was one of the founders of the Nuit des Etoiles (Night of the stars), created in 1991 by the Association Française d’Astronomie, which now attracts thousands of participants across Europe and Africa to look at and understand better the stars on three consecutive nights each summer. He has never stopped giving conferences, making films and writing books for both adults and children.

He is now 85, but that did not stop him publishing four books last year including a guide to wild flowers and a synopsis of his thoughts on all that he has learnt during his extremely active life.

His priority is the environment and he cannot relax into retirement, while he feels it is urgent to act now to stop the destruction of our planet. He is President of the association Humanité et Biodiversité which works to lobby the government on green issues.

Hubert Reeves was born in Canada but has made France his home for many years. He is the epitome of the kind, wise professor with his smiling eyes and long beard. Jane Hanks listened to what he had to say on a whole range of topics, in his charming French which resonates with the accent he has kept from his ...

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