François
Taddei

Biography

  • François Taddei is the founder and president of the Learning Planet Institute (formerly known as the Center for Interdisciplinary Research, CRI). He is an internationally renowned researcher in evolutionary systems biology, he now devotes his time to the promotion of education sciences.
  • François Taddei advocates a large-scale collaboration to build a learning planet—notably with the support of UNESCO. He encourages the development of learning communities, working together to find sustainable solutions in the education and health sectors, following the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  
  • François Taddei is passionate about education: he co-founded the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (CRI) in Paris in 2006. Its mission is to train the next generation of scientists working at a crossroads between life sciences, education, and digital technologies. In 2021, the CRI became the Learning Planet Institute.

Collaborations

  • In 2020, François Taddei spearheaded the creation of the “Institut des défis”, the Challenge Institute (a collaboration between the CRI/Learning Planet Institute and the Université Paris Cité), designed as a prototype for learning universities dedicated to tackle current and future global challenges. He believes that by fostering trust, diversity, exploration, co-creation, and multi-scale collective intelligence, universities can catalyse the emergence of new solutions to respond to the personal, collective, and global challenges that students can identify. Universities can facilitate cooperation, inviting the different actors to become aware of the complexity of our challenges, to redefine our problems, to reflect on the applications and implications of our ideas, and to find innovative solutions.
  • In addition to the Learning Planet Institute, François Taddei is at the head of the Challenge Institute. 
  • François Taddei has also benefited from research chairs funded by Orange, Axa, and by foundations such as the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation. Since 2014, he is also the co-holder of the UNESCO Chair “Sciences de l’apprendre” (Sciences of Learning), attached to the Université Paris Cité, which aims at promoting an integrated system of research, education, information and documentation, in the fields of research and education sciences.

Education - Training

After completing a general science degree with specialisations in physics and biology at the École Polytechnique, François Taddei became a senior civil servant in the French Ministry of Agriculture. He then completed a PhD in genetics, working with Miroslav Radman on the molecular causes and evolutionary consequences of changes in mutation rates.

After his postdoctoral training with John Maynard Smith, during which he modeled the evolution of mutation rate, his research team focused on several questions, such as the molecular mechanisms of cooperation, genetic changes, errors in gene expression, pathogenicity, antibiotic resistance, and aging in E. coli. He was the first to study aging in this microscopic organism, for which he used the approaches of microfluidics and systems biology. His work has led to numerous publications in general scientific journals and has earned him several awards.

  • 1983-1984: Lycée Frédéric Mistral, Avignon (France). Baccalauréat série C (Mathematics and Physics), obtained with honors.
  • 1984-1986: Lycée Louis Le Grand, Paris. Preparatory years for the Grandes Écoles, equivalent of the first two years of university. Mathematics and Physics. 
  • 1986-1989: École Polytechnique, Palaiseau (France). Specialisation in Physics and Biology.
  • 1989-1991: École Nationale du Génie Rural et des Eaux et Forêts (ENGREF).  
  • 1990-1991: Graduate diploma in cellular and molecular genetics, Universities of Paris VI and XI, Professors P. Slonimski and JL. Rossignol. Obtained with honors.
  • 1991-1995: PhD in genetics, University of Paris XI (Orsay): “Environment and Control of Genetic Variability in E. coli”, obtained with honors.
  • 1999: Professorial thesis to direct research (French diploma enabling professors to direct PhD students), University of Paris XI. Maintenance of genome integrity and expression, medical and evolutionary implications.

Distinctions

  • 2020: Eureka North Shore Award for the promotion of science and education.
  • 2019: Doctor Honoris Causa, UC Leuven. 
  • 2018: Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres (award from the French Ministry of Culture). 
  • 2017: Montgolfier Prize for entrepreneurship in education.
  • 2013: Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (award from the French Ministry of Education). 
  • 2010: Ashoka Fellow. 
  • 2006: Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Award. 
  • 2005: European Young Investigator Award (EURYI). 
  • 2004: Liliane Bettencourt Prize for Life Sciences. 
  • 2003: Inserm Prize for fundamental research.

Scientific activities & teaching

  • 2020: The Challenge Institute (Université Paris Cité).
  • 2014-today: Chair of Learning Sciences (UNESCO, Université Paris Cité). 
  • 2012-2019: French government IDEFI programme to encourage innovation in education. 
  • 2011: Creation of the “Frontières du Vivant” (Frontiers of Life Sciences) degree, the first French programme allowing students to learn through research.
  • 2007: Founder and director of the interdisciplinary doctoral school “Frontières du Vivant (FdV)” (Frontiers of Life Sciences), Universities of Paris Diderot and Paris Descartes. Its vocation is to allow brilliant students to explore new frontiers between disciplines. 
  • 2006: Founder of the Paris-Montagne science festival at the École Normale Supérieure. Founder of the Science Academy outreach programme, which has provided laboratory training to over one thousand high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • 2005: Founder of the Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires (Paris Descartes University, Faculty of Medicine).
  • 2004-2007: Head of the interdisciplinary graduate programme “Approches interdisciplinaires des sciences de la vie (AIV)” (Interdisciplinary Approaches to Life), École Normale Supérieure, Universities of Paris Diderot and Paris Descartes.
  • 2000-today: Faculty of Medicine (Paris Descartes University). Head of the Inserm research team on the causes and consequences of genetic and phenotypic variability.
  • 1991-1999: Jacques Monod Institute (Université Paris Cité). In the mutagenesis laboratory, conducted research on the molecular and evolutionary mechanisms controlling genetic variability.  
  • 1996-1997: Postdoctoral research in the laboratories of J. Maynard Smith (UK) and PH Gouyon (France) on the evolution of mutation rate. 

Publications

A-Research & Education

Co-author of several research and education reports for the French government, the OECD, the EU, and UNESCO. 

 

B-Books

 

C-Scientific publications