1998 Honda Prize Awarded to Professor Curien, University of Pierre et Marie Curie

October 9, 1998, Japan


Tokyo, October 9, 1998 - The HONDA FOUNDATION (under Hiromori Kawashima, president) decided to award the Honda Prize for 1998 to Professor Hubert Curien (74) of the University Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6, a French mineralogist and an authority on crystallography.
Prof. Curien chose to make his study in crystallography, and for the past 40 years he has undertaken studies and has given lectures in this field at the University of Paris. Besides working as a university professor, he has played leading roles in diverse positions he held not only at French but also European and international organizations. He also had many occasions to decide the orientation of research policy in scientific and technological fields, through which he contributed to global environmental protection activities.

Professor Hubert Curien

Professor Hubert Curien

Prof. Curien made a very substantial contribution in particular to the promotion and development of the Earth observation system through the use of artificial satellites. As President of the French National Center for Space Studies (CNES), he gave the go-ahead for the French observation satellite system (SPOT) and the first satellite launch in Western Europe. Furthermore, as Chairman of the Council European Space Agency, he endeavored to develop the Earth observation and management system. In 1992, Prof. Curien was elected as Chairman of the "Space Agencies Forum for the International Space Year (SAFISY)," which promoted intensive use and improvement of space systems to improve the management of Planet Earth.

Moreover, Prof. Curien served as the Minister of Research and Technology in the Cabinets of Prime Ministers Fabius, Rocard and Cresson of the French Government.

These activities of Prof. Curien are in accord with the concept of "true technology designed to achieve a harmony with the whole environment surrounding human activities = eco-technology" as advocated by the Honda Foundation. Prof. Curien will be the 19th winner of the Honda Prize, and will be awarded a supplementary prize of Ten Million Japanese Yen (10,000,000.) The awards ceremony will take place on November 17, the birthday of the late Soichiro Honda, at Hotel Okura in Tokyo.

The term Eco-Technology is derived from combining the words ecology and technology. It is a new technological concept that seeks harmony with the environment surrounding all human activity. The concept is one that must be addressed for the future of our society. This differs from the conventional concept of technology as a means to pursue efficiency and profits.

CURRICULUM VITAE of Prof. Hubert Curien

1924 Born in Cornimont, France
1945-50 Educated in physics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and at the University of Paris
1956 Professor of Paris University
1968-73 General Director of National Research Center, France
1973-76 General Delegate for Research and Technology
1976-84 President of the French National Center for Space Studies
1979-84 Chairman of the European Science Foundation
1981-84 Chairman of the Council European Space Agency
1983 Vice President of the International Academy of Astronautics
1983-85 Chairman of the French National Space Academy
1984-86 and 1988-93 Minister of Research and Technology, Government of France
1992-93 Chairman of SAFISY (Space Agencies Forum for the International Space Year)
1994-96 Chairman of the Council of CERN
1994-97 President of Academia Europaea


Grand-Officier Legion d'honneur, France
Commander of several foreign orders.
Knight of the British Empire.


The French Academy of Sciences

Major publications

"Hubert Curien : For an International Science Policy"