Bernard d’Espagnat is a French theoretical physicist, philosopher of science, and author, best known for his work on the nature of reality. D’Espagnat obtained his Ph.D. from the Ecole Polytechnique and the Institut Henri Poincaré (Louis de Broglie group). He was a researcher at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique CNRS, 1947-57. During this period he also worked with Enrico Fermi in Chicago, 1951-52, and on a research project led by Niels Bohr at the Institute in Copenhagen, 1953-54. He then pursued his scientific career at the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Nucleaires (CERN) in Geneva and, as a theoretical physicist, at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, 1954-59.
From 1959 until his retirement in 1987, D’Espagnat was a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Sciences at the Sorbonne University. He was director of the Laboratory of Theoretical Physics and Elementary Particles at the University of Paris XI (Orsay), 1980-87. He was a visiting professor at the University of Texas, Austin in 1977, and at the University of California – Santa Barbara in 1984.
He has been a member of the Brussels International Academy of the Philosophy of Science since 1975, and of the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences since 1996. He is the 2009 Templeton Prize laureate.