Roland PIERROT (1930-1998)

Roland Pierrot, president of the SFMC in 1984, passed away on November, 9th 1998 at Orléans. He was born on May, 14th 1930 at Guéret (Creuse).

R. Pierrot began his career as a mineralogist in 1950 at the Atomic Energy Commission in Fontenay-aux-Roses, where he met Claude Guillemin, who became his friend. When the latter was appointed assistant of Professor J. Wyart at Sorbonne’s Mineralogy Laboratory, he asked R. Pierrot to follow him. Roland accepted, entered the CNRS as a physicist assistant, and shortly after, he was responsible for practical exercises in systematic mineralogy by J. Wyart.

In 1956, he followed C. Guillemin again at the Geological, Geophysical and Mineral Research Desk (BRGGM), which became in 1959 the BRGM (Geological and Mineral Research Desk). He entered the newly created Mineralogy Service, and became its president in 1965, until 1972.

Then he was offered different administrative positions in BRGM. In 1981, he became General Secretary in the National Geological Service, without forgetting his job as a mineralogist.

In 1990, he retired but kept on working for the geological community as a volunteer until his death. After his retirement, he led the Geodrom project (1990-1996) and from 1997, he directed the Association managing the site aimed at popularizing geology. He had been president of the Amicale of BRGM since 1990.

Roland Pierrot’s scientific work is composed of 115 publications dedicated to descriptive and regional mineralogy. With his associates, he described 19 new mineral species, among others the weilite, the roquesite, the guilleminite, the hocartite, the raguinite, the roubaultite, the fischesserite, the permingeatite, dedicated to French mineralogists. He created the collection “French Mineralogical inventory”. With G. Aubert and C. Guillemin, he was co-author of a “mineralogy precis” published in 1978, and with F. Cesbron, he was co-author of Chemical and Determinative Tables of Mineralogy published in 1979 and 1989. Between 1971 and 1980, R. Pierrot was the French representative of the IMA nomenclature Commission, which charged him, in 1981, with the publication of an annual listing of new mineral species. He was a member of the Mineralogical Society of America.

In 1976, the Sciences Academy paid a scientific tribute to R. Pierrot, giving him the Millet award. Two minerals have been dedicated to him: the pierrotite, Tl2Sb6As4S16, discovered at Jas Roux in the Hautes-Alpes, and the parapierrotite, Tl(Sb,As)5S8found in the Allchar deposit of Macedonia. Roland Pierrot was Officer of the National Oder of Merit and Knight of the Academic Palms.

This keen mineralogist was very friendly and full of humour, who had built friendships with many of his colleagues. All the people who had the privilege of working with him will remember his great generosity and modesty. Professor Jean Wyart, member of the Institute, said about Roland Pierrot: “he does not seem serious, he does not take himself seriously, but he is more serious than he thinks”

Zdenek JOHAN