Nicole Ostrowsky is the former head of the Laboratory of Physics and Condensed Matter at the University of Nice in France where she is now a Professor Emeritus . She began her career as a scientist for the French National Centre for Scientific Research, the CNRS , at the Ecole Normale Supérieure Laboratory in Paris, and then at Harvard University in the States. Passionate about new ways of teaching Science, she set up the ‘Exploratoire" , a collection of interactive scientific experiments that became a part of the Palais de la Découverte’s touring exhibitions.



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Theresa Bronn was born in the United States. After studies in Art History and French, she graduated from the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg. Theresa is the author and/or illlustrator of a dozen very popular books for children. She currently lives in Nice, France.


To be able to write freely and playfully about science has been a fabulous experience— thank you, Susie Morgenstern, for having convinced our French publisher to trust me. My most faithful supporter and critic was my husband Dan, who was not only my best source of ideas but also my daily guinea pig. I would also like to thank some of my colleagues and friends, particularly Gerard Laporte and Jean Cea, who advised and encouraged me throughout this project.

The joyous idea of an English version came from Professor Ajoy Ghatak (IIT Delhi), and the enthusiasm and support of Thierry Boisseaux (Attaché for Science and Technology at the Embassy of France in India, Bangalore).

The credit for this lively version is due to the thorough translation and adaptation of Radhika Viswanathan (Bangalore), the essential revisions of Gill Rosner (Nice, France) as well as the perspicacious comments of Ramya Sriram (Universities Press, Hyderabad).

Finally I would like to thank my sister, Irène Darmon, who has been a fervent supporter of the Agenda and was the prime mover for the realization of this evolving website.

the Agenda of the Apprentice Scientist

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