4 researchers from Bordeaux among the most cited in the world

On Tuesday, November 18th, the Clarivate Analytics Group published the list of the most cited scientists in the world, which includes four researchers from the Bordeaux campus.

  • 01/12/2020

Didier Astruc (top left), Sylvain Delzon (top right), Francesco d'Errico (bottom left) and Cyril Herry (bottom right) © DR Didier Astruc (top left), Sylvain Delzon (top right), Francesco d'Errico (bottom left) and Cyril Herry (bottom right) © DR

Each year, Clarivate Analytics, specialists in the analysis of scientific production, publish the list of the most highly cited researchers, i.e. the researchers who have had a significant impact on science through the publishing of papers in 21 fields of research.

In 2020, the list includes 6,167 researchers from 60 different countries, thus highlighting the work of those who have published papers relating to one of the 21 fields of research, or several fields if the work was multidisciplinary.

The impact of the highly cited researchers list is significant, as it forms the basis of several international rankings, including the Shanghai ranking which awards 20% of a university’s global score according to this criterion. Researchers - and institutions in general - must therefore follow precise and strict guidelines when publishing their work.

Four researchers from Bordeaux were among the top 1% of researchers that were the most cited by their peers:

Didier Astruc, cited in the Chemistry category

Didier Astruc is an Emeritus professor at the Institute of Molecular Sciences (ISM - CNRS, Bordeaux INP and the University of Bordeaux) and a nanoscience chemist. His research focuses on nanosystems at the interface between metallic nanoparticles and arborescent macromolecules, in order to design new sensors, drug vectors and catalysts, in the spirit of green chemistry. He has published around ten coursebooks and research books in organometallic chemistry, catalysis and molecular electronics, and has published many scientific papers. He is currently developing new recyclable nanocatalysts in the field of energy, in partnership with several Chinese scientific teams and with the help of a group of students. In December 2019, he was elected Member of the Academy of Science in the chemistry section.

Sylvain Delzon, cited in the Plant and Animal Science category

Sylvain Delzon is an INRAE Research Director in the Biodiversity, Genes and Communities laboratory (Biogeco - INRAE and University of Bordeaux). He challenges the laws of cavitation to study forest response to climate change. His research is carried out in the field through in situ monitoring, where he evaluates the impact of climate change on tree phenology and physiology to better understand their response and distribution (forests of Troncais and the Pyrenees), as well as in laboratories, thanks to the development of prototypes, such as the Caviton, which enable him to measure the drought resistance of forest species across the world. He is also currently working on forest tree decline, especially in the redwood forests of California - in partnership with Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley - where the tallest trees in the world are currently on the brink of extinction.

Francesco D’Errico, cited in the Social Sciences category

Francesco d’Errico is a CNRS ResearchDirector at the From Prehistory to Modern Times: Culture, Environment and Anthropology laboratory (Pacea - CNRS, Ministry of Culture, University of Bordeaux). He focuses his research on the cognitive evolution of fossil hominins and the first modern humans through the analysis of their symbolic representations, technical behavior and relationship with the environment. His research has questioned the long-accepted model of a symbolic revolution corresponding to the arrival of anatomically modern humans in Europe 40,000 years ago. His work has shown that ornaments, engravings, pigments and bone tools were already in use in Africa over 80,000 years ago, therefore questioning the traditionally accepted scenarios for the origins of modern behavior. The originality of Francesco d’Errico’s work lies in his ability to combine the study of archaeological remains with experimentation, as well as the analysis of natural phenomena and ethnographic data. He received the silver medal of the CNRS in 2014, an ERC Advanced Grant in 2010 and an ERC Synergy Grant in 2020.

Cyril Herry, cited in the Neuroscience and Behavior category

Cyril Herry is an Inserm Research Director at the Magendie Neurocenter (NCM - Inserm and the University of Bordeaux - Bordeaux Neurocampus) and a neurophysiologist. His research focuses on the identification of the neuronal circuits of fear and anxiety through neuroanatomical, electrophysiological and behavioral approaches. He has published many highly-acclaimed scientific papers and his work has been rewarded with prizes by the National Academies of Science and Medicine. His research currently focuses on the identification of the physiological markers of fear and anxiety in humans and animals, in order to develop new therapeutic approaches tackling anxiety disorders.

How are the rankings calculated?

For their research to be recognized – including at an early stage such as their thesis work - researchers publish articles in national or international scientific journals, including most notably Nature and Science. Each publication outlines the results of an original piece of research and is written following specific guidelines.

These articles are reviewed by a competent independent reading committee and must include sufficient information (observations, methods, etc.) in order to be judged and cited, as needed. These results are then made available to the scientific community and may be used and cited by other researchers in other journals.

These citations are used to establish the list of the most cited researchers. The more the published work is cited by other researchers, the more the researcher goes up in the rankings. This analysis is based on “Web of Science”, a platform for information data.


Didier Astruc
Emeritus Professor of the University of Bordeaux at the ISM

Sylvain Delzon
INRAE Research Director at the Biogeco laboratory

Francesco d’Errico
CNRS Research Director at the Pacea Laboratory

Cyril Herry
Inserm Research Director at the Magendie Neurocenter