CIRIR (Center for International Research and Restitution on Impact and on Rochechouart) is the first structure in France dedicated to the study and valorization of terrestrial impact craters. CIRIR is composed of # 60 scientists and teams from a dozen countries spread over 4 continents (see below).


Although CIRIR does not originates from the French academia but from the territories, it is a public initiative dedicated to academic research and the French academia is widely represented in CIRIR

  • GET (Géosciences Environnement Toulouse), unité mixte de recherche CNRS-Université de Toulouse- Toulouse ;
  • LPG (Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique), unité mixte de recherche CNRS-Université de Nantes, Nantes
  • CRPG (Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques) de Nancy, unité mixte de recherche CNRS-Université de Lorraine, Nancy ;
    Centre européen de recherche et d’enseignement de géosciences de l’environnement (CEREGE), unité mixte du CNRS, Collège de France et Universités d’Aix-Marseille ;
  • Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM-French Geological Survey) sous la double tutelle du ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (MESR) et du ministère de l’Écologie, de l’énergie, du développement durable et de la mer (Meeddem), Orléans ;
  • Géosciences Paris Sud, (GEOPS), unité mixte de recherche CNRS-Université de Paris Saclay ;
  • Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire, (CBM), unité de recherche du CNRS, Orléans ;
  • Groupement de Recherche Eaux, Sols, Environnement, (GRESE), unité de recherche de l’Université de Limoges ;
  • Géosciences Montpellier, unité mixte de recherche CNRS-Université de Montpellier ;
  • Institut Chimie des Milieux et Matériaux de Poitiers, (IC2MP) unité mixte de recherche CNRS-Université de Poitiers;
  • Institut des Sciences de la Terre, (ISTO), unité de recherche du CNRS, Orléans ;

CIRIR is settled on site in Rochechouart. It is composed of two buildings (under rehabilitation) and a director, the whole funded by the local territories with the support of the Region, the State and Europe.

CIRIR and collaborators are placed under a prestigious board of senior experts named « Comite des Sages ». Among them are Hubert Reeves*, franco-canadian astrophysicist known for his wisdom, kindness and his engagement toward preservation of  Nature, and Carolyn Shoemaker** the widow of late Eugene Shoemaker, the first astrogeologist of humanity. Gene’s pioneering doctoral studies on Barringer Crater, Arizona (Meteor Crater) made the scientific community enter the era of large impact cratering in the early 60’s. Carolyn Shoemaker is known worldwide for being the co-dicoverer of comet Shoemaker-Levy that collided Jupiter in 1994 (the first large impact witnessed by humanity). If the general public may be less familiar with the other members, they are very famous and respected in the scientific community dealing with meteorite and planetology, and are seen as modern heroes who pioneered the discipline and inspired the future generations of scientists who choose to walk on their track.