This year’s CNRS Gold Medal, one of France’s most prestigious scientific prize, has been awarded to the Franco-Norwegian physical chemist Thomas Ebbesen. He specializes in nanosciences, a cross-disciplinary field that covers a variety of scientific areas that include carbon materials, optics, nano-photonics and molecular chemistry. His discoveries have notably enabled technological breakthroughs in optoelectronics for optical communications and biosensors. As Professor at the University of Strasbourg, he headed the Institut de Science et d’Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (ISIS, CNRS/University of Strasbourg) until 2012. He is currently Director of the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study (USIAS).