Ceremony of the award of Commandeur of the National Order of Merit

On April 19th, 2019, Barbara Demeneix was appointed to the rank of Commander in the National Order of Merit by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. 

Speech by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe for the appointment of Barbara Demeneix to the rank of Commander in the National Order of Merit

“Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear Barbara Demeneix,

We are becoming increasingly stupid. Even though, thanks to you, dear Barbara Demeneix, we are already a little less so, precisely because we are aware of it. Let’s check on that immediately by asking those present to answer two riddles.

The first: what’s the difference between a tadpole and a human being? None, when it comes to the thyroid. Our hormones are the same. In the words of Jacques Legrand, “Without a minimum of thyroid hormone at the right time, a tadpole does not become a frog and a human baby becomes a cretin.”

>> Read the speech

Barbara Demeneix’s speech 

“Mr Prime Minister,

Madam Environment Counsellor,

Presidents of the CNRS and the National Museum of Natural History, dear colleagues and friends,

I am very greatly honoured today to receive the award of Commander of the National Order of Merit from the Prime Minister.

My thanks go first of all to the presidents of the National Museum of Natural History and the CNRS, two institutions that I have been proud to serve for more than 25 years and which have always strongly supported me in my work – and without that support my team and I could never have accomplished so much over the years.”

>> Read the speech