French Embassy bestows the insignia of the Knight of the French National Order of Merit on Dr Robert Adam
On Thursday, 6 October 2011, Ambassador Lapouge welcomed assorted guests to the Residence of France in Pretoria in order to bestow the insignia of the Knight of the French National Order of Merit on Dr Robert Adam, CEO of NECSA.
In explaining the origin of the award Ambassador Lapouge stated “After the Revolution and the abolition of all orders of chivalry and nobility, it was the wish of Napoleon Bonaparte to create a reward to commend civilians and soldiers for "eminent merit" in military or civil life. During the second half of the 19th century several merit orders were created in specialised domains, and by the beginning of the 20th century more than 25 merit orders existed. Then, another of our most remarkable statesmen, the General de Gaulle decided, in order to replace the large number of Orders previously awarded by the ministries, to create the Ordre National du Mérite.”
Dr Adam had spent time in France during his youth and shared some of his experiences with the guests, including the joy of French food for a boy raised on Braai Vleis !
The Ambassador stated that whilst much of the detail of scientific work can be hard for non-scientists to grasp, Dr Adam’s diligence and the strength of moral conviction are recognisable across academic boundaries.
Franco-South African cooperation in science & technology has led to a body of rigorous research projects being carried out across various fields. The South African government is committed to socio-economic development through the promotion of capacity building, research and innovation. France, which comprises a deep pool of highly qualified researchers and excellent research facilities, proffers reinforcement to the South African government in its endeavours to transform the South African community into a productive, knowledge-based society which would render economic benefits and increased quality of life for its citizens. With 1179 co-publications between 2004 and 2008, France ranks 5th among South Africa’s global partners in S&T. The partnership between the two countries is driven by four main objectives :
Dr Adam is recognised by the French Republic for his contribution to the establishment of fruitful international partnerships, particularly with French actors in the field. The Embassy is proud to have been able to bestow the Order of Merit on Dr Adam and will continue to follow his work and influence closely.