The Bachelor of Science promotes multidisciplinarity and encourages students to broaden their scope of study beyond the scientific sphere, both in and out of the classroom. In 2018, the Bachelor Academic Team was given the opportunity to select a student to assist Bernard Attali in a research project for his new book. Their choice naturally went to Damien Bradelle, who was in Year 2 of the Program at the time (double major in Mathematics and Physics, minor in Biology). We take a look back at his experience.
The publication in question explores the "winds of violent change" facing our contemporary societies, taking into account the high concentration of threats that make this modern era so unusual. Such a vast subject requires a great deal of research work into the transverse nature of the fields covered.
A Year of Research and Collaboration
Mr. Attali holds very special ties with École Polytechnique (having written the Attali report in 2015, which led to the creation of École Polytechnique’s Bachelor Program) and was eager to highlight the ingenuity and sharp minds of its students. After an initial meet between Damien and Mr. Attali in 2018, the research project was launched. “We held meetings once a month. He told me which theme he wanted to work on and I produced support material for it, which would often take the form of a bibliography,” explains Damien. Mr. Attali informed him of his expectations without dictating a precise methodology, and then it was a question of discussing together each topic covered by the research. Damien succeeded in implementing this collaborative working approach and was able to pursue subjects that he was less used to dealing with, such as money laundering or bioethics, which called upon the use of his biology knowledge acquired in the Bachelor Program.
"Even the most serious things must be done with joy"
Damien greatly appreciated working with Mr. Attali and will remember the project as an enriching experience: “I learned so much working alongside him, but it was also a space of freedom. I felt very free in producing my work, which was greatly satisfying. He always had something to say to make me smile, like one day he told me ‘even the most serious things must be done with joy.’”
This is a fine example of how to organize and manage a student workload, combined with a more professional approach. “It wasn’t always easy to balance this project with the work demanded by the Bachelor Program. Over time, I managed to organize myself more effectively. The last two years and this project have helped to change my perspective."
Following the success of this project with Mr. Attali, the two plan to continue collaborating on new projects in the future.
Bernard Attali’s book, Un vent de violence, was published in April 2019 by Cent Mille Milliards and Descartes & Cie.