March 29, 2023 Nancy Chabot

Based on a Report submitted to the Endowment Committee by: Philippe Lambert – Director of the CIRIR, France

The first International Congress Festival of the Center for International Research and Restitution on Impacts and on Rochechouart was held in Rochechouart, France, in June 2022 (ICF-CIRIR 2022). The Meteoritical Society Endowment Fund provided travel support for five graduate students and early career scientists, from France, The Netherlands and Italy, all of whom had submitted an abstract for presentation.

ICF-CIRIR 2022 mixed science, popular events and natural/cultural/historical heritage. It brought together experts and students from around the world and the general public, and at the same time it drew attention to the diversity and richness of the heritage of this historically rather remote territory, which has now come under the spotlight thanks to this “asteroid impact”. 59 persons registered for the congress, from 18 countries, with 48 of these participating in person. Presentations on the Rochechouart impact structure included geophysics, sedimentology, stable isotope geochemistry, petrology, geochemistry, and age studies, as well as the impact geology of the Rochechouart crater.

There were also presentations on other terrestrial impact structures, meteorites, tektites, and relations with life sciences. An emphasis on geoheritage and public outreach was made through conference presentations, as well as events that included a dance performance inspired by Asteroids, Gravity, and Impacts, an exhibition that included stage works (masks) that had been made with Rochechouart impactites, and a geological exhibit highlighting the geology of the Limousin region and including impactite collections of the Rochechouart-Chassenon National Reserve and the CIRIR.

The ICF-CIRIR plans to meet with the same format (dedicated scientific congress and public festival) in the Rochechouart impact structure every 3-4 years. By mixing science, education, outreach, art, culture, and sustainable development, the ICF-CIRIR initiative aims at boosting the interest of young scientists and the public at large, for impact processes and their role in the evolution of planets and Life.

Submitted by: Rhian Jones, Chair of the Endowment Committee

Visit this webpage to learn more about grants supported by the Meteoritical Society Endowment Fund.