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Latest ITER Newsline

  • Heating | A pinch of moondust in the ITER plasma

    One day in the distant future, fusion plants might be fuelled by helium 3—an isotope that is extremely scarce on Earth but reputed to be abundant on the Moon. B [...]

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  • Delivery | 2,000 km through canals, locks and tunnels

    When the thruway is closed, one takes the back roads. And when it's low-water season on the Rhine-Rhône canal, a barge leaving Switzerland for the Mediterranean [...]

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  • Monaco Fellows | A hand in shaping ITER

    For the sixth time, ITER is welcoming a group of five young researchers as part of the Monaco-ITER postdoctoral fellowship scheme. Working alongside experienced [...]

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  • On site | Drone survey on a perfect day

    There are days in winter when the skies over Provence are perfectly transparent. Snowy peaks 200 kilometres away appear close enough to be touched and farms, co [...]

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  • AAAS conference | ITER on the world science stage

    With more than 120,000 members globally, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is billed as the world's largest scientific society. The [...]

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Of Interest

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An "ermine sash" on Director-General Motojima's purple toga

Director-General Motojima had donned the purple toga of professors, to which university Vice-President Denis Bertin attached the traditional ''ermine sash''. Professors André Thévand and Sadruddin Benkadda are in the background. (Click to view larger version...)
Director-General Motojima had donned the purple toga of professors, to which university Vice-President Denis Bertin attached the traditional ''ermine sash''. Professors André Thévand and Sadruddin Benkadda are in the background.
The title of Docteur Honoris Causa is one of the most prestigious French academic distinctions.

It is awarded to foreign personalities whose contribution to science or the arts is recognized as particularly significant.

Last Tuesday, in the historic amphitheatre of the Université de Provence in Marseille, this honour was bestowed upon ITER Director-General Osamu Motojima, who, in the words of university Vice-President Denis Bertin, "has taken up a challenge on which our future depends."

In accordance with tradition, Director-General Motojima had donned the purple toga of university professors, to which the "ermine sash" was attached when he officially received his diploma.

The recipient's career was retraced by Sadruddin Benkadda, the scientific director of the Marseille-based International Institute of Fusion Science (IIFS). "Director-General Motojima," he stressed, "has always remained close to the academic world [...] He played a key role in establishing a cooperation between Université de Provence and the Japanese National Institute of Fusion Science (NIFS) and also in the creation of the IIFS, which is opened to collaborations with all the universities in the world."

''I cannot let this moment pass,'' said Director-General Motojima, ''without thanking my dear wife Kaoru who has been always at my side with constant support and encouragement.'' Mrs Motojima, in traditional kimono, is seen here in conversation with Japanese Consul General Danai Tsukhara. (Click to view larger version...)
''I cannot let this moment pass,'' said Director-General Motojima, ''without thanking my dear wife Kaoru who has been always at my side with constant support and encouragement.'' Mrs Motojima, in traditional kimono, is seen here in conversation with Japanese Consul General Danai Tsukhara.
In his acceptance speech, Director-General Motojima recalled his early calling to science and how, by embracing research, he had "hoped to contribute to the human society directly with practical scientific output."

He also explained to the audience (which included several young fusion students of Université de Provence) some of the fundamentals of fusion, the essence of his action at the head of the ITER Organization and, quoting ancient Greek historian Herodotus and French philosopher Descartes, his own approach to science.

"ITER," he said, "will be the stepping stone into a new era, in which a safe and inexhaustible source of energy becomes available for mankind." ITER's doors, he pledged, "will be open to the young people who will take on the future responsibility to complete the research of fusion energy."


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