Chemistry has always been part of the ENS research landscape. With regard to the discipline as such, chemistry contributes an essential training in the sciences of matter, either living or inanimate, as well as an intense activity in basic and applied research. With regard to its representatives, chemistry has continuously fed our institution with talented and original minds, masters and young scientists: Louis Pasteur, Henry Sainte Claire Deville, Gustave Vavon, Georges Dupont, Marc Julia, Guy Ourisson are famous examples that should not, however, detract from many other trajectories, less known but equally significant for the French chemistry community.
At ENS, chemistry has been first practiced in a laboratory located at 45, rue d’Ulm. Chemistry then took benefit of the new building at 24, rue Lhomond, to extend its surface; at this point, the laboratory was transformed into a department. Today, being or becoming a chemist at this department is a matter of ambition. The students, selected according to their excellence and motivation, are immediately considered as future colleagues and correspondingly benefit from favorable conditions of study and emancipation. The research activities of about one hundred researchers, students, engineers and technicians put the chemistry department of ENS at the highest international level. As a consequence, the department receives substantial support from many national and international organisms (Ministry of research, CNRS, Paris 6 University, ANR, EC,…).