In this interview during the opening ceremony of IYBSSD, Antoine Kouchner of Astroparticle Physics European Consortium, asserted that the world should give a listening hear to scientific community, because it will provide answers to many global issues.
Changing mentalities takes a little time and it’s a shame to wait for an emergency to do it. But I think we are there, unfortunately. I work in the field of astrophysics, which straddles particle physics, a field called astro particles. The idea is to look at the cosmos with all the components we know, all the messengers, some of which are elementary particles. Like neutrinos, that is my favorite field. I am working on an underwater telescope that tries to capture neutrinos from the cosmos.
What links can you make between your research and sustainable development?
For me in particular, it’s quite easy because the telescope I’m working on is an underwater telescope that is 2500 meters deep and it is wired. So we do real time. So we have been doing instantaneous and permanent monitoring of the abyssal depths, which are unknown areas, for about 20 years. So obviously, monitoring the environment of the sensor is a way to participate in monitoring climate change. To know what’s going on there. We are trying to detect neutrinos, but we also detect underwater mammals, we detect the concentration of oxygen and things like that; so it’s very indirectly linked to our physics, but we have been quite connected for many years on these issues.
How do you take sustainable development into account in your practices?
It has had an impact on the way we think about the development of the detector. We have accompanied this global awareness, which goes beyond science, beyond our own field. But as a result, yes, I think it had an impact. And when we think about the next generation of instruments in our own field, but on a larger scale, we start to take into account the requirements of material changes. We have developed very strong axes between the earth sciences and the sciences of the universe, which inevitably leads us to a reflection on sustainable development.
What message would you like to send about sustainable development?
To tell the rest of the world that the scientific community has things to say on these questions and that it should perhaps be heard more. I believe that these are lessons that come, not from my field in particular, but rather from other scientific fields. Perhaps we have not heard enough because in fact, changing mentalities takes a little time and it is a pity to wait for an emergency to do it. But I think we are there, unfortunately.