I work on infinite three-dimensional spaces, a mathematical question which, in some aspects, echoes the theory of relativity in physics. When I submitted this subject to the ERC, no one, to my knowledge, had ever addressed it before. It is a risky subject in that I might not find anything of interest! But this new challenge brought me back to the heart of science—like during my PhD! It’s something worth considering for all researchers who are nearing the end of their careers: no matter how old you are, if a problem inspires you, go for it!
Now that my term as a laboratory director is over, I can devote myself entirely to these studies. I work with a group of highly motivated young researchers, and the ERC gives me the opportunity to pass on my experience. I hope that they will continue when I'm gone, as research — and this can never be emphasized enough — is a collective effort. Ultimately, this grant has had extremely positive repercussions for an entire community. It has been a very special, unforgettable period in my career.