Matthieu Schuler becomes Managing Director General of the "Science for Expertise" Division at ANSES

On 1 February 2021, Matthieu Schuler was appointed Managing Director General of ANSES’s "Science for Expertise" Division. Matthieu Schuler takes over from Professor Gérard Lasfargues and will continue to consolidate the Agency's scientific orientations in order to guarantee increasingly robust and useful expertise in response to the challenges of human, animal and plant health and the preservation of ecosystems.

Matthieu Schuler, a graduate of the Ecole des Mines, has devoted most of his career to understanding and controlling health risks. His professional background has enabled him to develop an overall vision of health and safety issues.

He graduated from the Ecole des Mines in 1993, then from the Corps des Mines in 1996, and has devoted himself from the outset of his career to controlling risks, particularly those associated with radioactivity, from the activity that generates the risks through to human health and environmental protection. He joined the Nuclear Safety Authority in 1996, and became head of the nuclear steam supply systems control office there in 1999. Appointed Deputy Director of the Ecole des Mines in Nantes in 2002, he actively participated in consolidating its laboratories’ scientific partnerships, and expanding the international scope of the campus. At the same time, he held the position of Deputy Director at the Regional Directorate for Industry, Research and the Environment of the Pays de la Loire region.

In 2009, he joined the French Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Institute (IRSN) as Deputy Director of the Human Protection Department, before becoming the institute's Strategy Director in 2011. There, he managed the scheduling of expert appraisal and research work, as well as its inclusion in cross-cutting public policies: occupational health, environmental health, and the national cancer plan. Always attentive to public concerns, he oversaw the work of the IRSN's Barometer on risk perception and made opening up to society a strategic choice. In 2018, he joined ANSES as Director of Risk Assessment.

As head of the "Science for Expertise" Division, Matthieu Schuler's mission is to coordinate the departments responsible for risk assessment, health alerts and vigilance, scientific research funding, and the "Social Sciences, Expertise and Society" unit. In conjunction with the ANSES Scientific Board, he will guarantee the robustness of the scientific processes implemented by the Agency.

As Managing Director General, he will also need to develop a global approach to health risks, in particular by focusing on the cross-cutting nature of the Agency's various activities in the fields of environmental and occupational health.

In his new position, Matthieu Schuler will focus on strengthening the Agency's expertise in socio-economic analysis and promoting the opening up of data and the enhancement of exchanges with society, which are among ANSES's priorities.

«Faced with the extreme diversity of our fellow citizens' concerns regarding the risks for humankind, the planet and its ecosystems, the mobilisation of science to bolster expert opinion must address three major challenges. First of all, we must methodically take into account the latest available knowledge to characterise risks, prioritise them and propose ways of mitigating them in the short and medium term. Then, through dialogue with all stakeholders – civil society, economic actors, public authorities – encourage all concerned to act to reduce these risks within their own areas of responsibility. Finally, while listening carefully to the vigilance schemes and research challenges raised by expert appraisal, promote the emergence of new data and knowledge to build tomorrow's global health and safety system with our European and international counterparts.

Matthieu Schuler

Matthieu Schuler takes over from Professor Gérard Lasfargues. A university hospital doctor and professor of medicine and occupational health (University of Paris-Est Créteil), Prof. Lafargues had created and then headed the Environmental Assessment and Occupational Health Department of the French Agency for Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (AFSSET) before being appointed Deputy Director General for Scientific Affairs at AFSSET and then ANSES in 2009, and lastly Managing Director General of the Agency's Science for Expertise Division since 2018, before retiring this year.