Conservatoire national des arts et métiers

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Conservatoire national des arts et métiers
Logo cnam.gif
Docet omnes ubique (Latin)
Motto in English
It teaches everyone everywhere
TypePublic, Grand établissement, Grande école
Established1794 (1794)
ChancellorOlivier Faron (since 2013)[1]
PresidentGérard Mestrallet[2]
Vice-ChancellorBernard Racimora[3]
Students110,000 (CNAM headquarters in Paris and CNAM centres in 160 other cities in France)[4][5]
CampusUrban (for headquarters at Rue St Martin in Paris)
LanguageFrench, English
AffiliationsCGE, HeSam Université, Elles Bougent
The main entrance.

The Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (French: [kɔ̃sɛʁvatwaʁ nɑsjɔnal dez‿aʁ e metje]; CNAM) is a grand établissement and grande école of engineering, located in Paris, France. It is dedicated to provide education and conduct research for the promotion of science and industry. It has a large museum of inventions accessible to the public.


It was founded on 10 October 1794, during the French Revolution.[6] It was first proposed by Abbé Henri Grégoire as a "depository for machines, models, tools, drawings, descriptions and books in all the areas of the arts and trades".[7] The deserted Saint-Martin-des-Champs Priory (and particularly its Gothic refectory by Pierre de Montereau) was selected as the site of collection, which formally opened in 1802.

Tennis Court Oath (1789) by David : the abbot Henri Grégoire, was a founding member of "Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers", is shown with abbot black clothes in the drawing center.

Originally charged with the collection of inventions, it has since become an educational institution. At the present time, it is known primarily as a continuing education school for adults seeking engineering (multidisciplinary scientific program) and business degrees, proposing evening classes in a variety of topics.

Medal of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers.

The collection of inventions is now operated by the Musée des Arts et Métiers. The original Foucault pendulum was exhibited as part of the collection, but was moved to the Panthéon in 1995 during museum renovation. It was later reinstalled in the Musée des Arts et Métiers. On 6 April 2010,[8] the cable suspending the original pendulum bob snapped causing irreparable damage to the pendulum and to the marble flooring of the museum.[9]

The novel Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco deals greatly with this establishment, as the Foucault pendulum hung in the museum plays a great role in the storyline. The novel was published in 1989 prior to the pendulum being moved back to the Panthéon during museum reconstruction.[10]

The Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers is located at 292 rue Saint Martin, in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris, in the historical area of the city named Le Marais.


The Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (Cnam) is a public institution of the French government, in the scientific, cultural and professional fields, with the status of "Grand Etablissement" (elite school). Under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education, it has 3 missions:

  • Training throughout life (Lifelong learning);
  • Technological research and innovation;
  • Dissemination of scientific and technical culture.

It is implemented in more than 150 cities in France and abroad. Cnam's motto is "Omnes docet ubique", which means "He (or it) teaches everyone everywhere."


Since July 2010, Cnam has been organized in two distinct "Schools", each one with seven departments:

  • Industrial Sciences and Information Technology (Sciences industrielles et technologies de l'information, Siti), directed by William Dab:
    • Chemicals, Food, Health, Environment, Risk;
    • Civil Engineering, building, energetics;
    • Computer science;
    • Electronics, automation, control systems;
    • Mathematical engineering;
    • Measurement, analysis, quality, materials science.
    • Mechanical and electrotechnical systems engineering;
  • Management and social sciences applied to firms (Management et sociétés, MS), directed by Jean-Claude Bouly:
    • Accounting, Control and Audit;
    • Economics, finance, banking, insurance;
    • Management, innovation, foresight;
    • Law, labour science, health, social intervention;
    • Labour, career counseling, personal development, education;
    • Culture, information, technology and society;
    • Urban planning, trade, land and community development.


The CNAM supports continuing education; it offers:.

  • Multidisciplinary programs;
  • 1,350 modular programs;
  • 1,500 specific sessions;
  • 480 diplomas or certificates, from undergraduate to doctoral programs;
  • 100,000 students enrolled in the entire network (75% employees, 13% experienced job seekers, 3% first job seekers, 9% students and others);
  • 1 out of 5 students is trained by distance-learning programs, through information and communications technology.

All teachings are formatted to comply with the CNAM LMD (Licence-Master-Doctorate), and thus respecting the European Credit Transfer System.

Notable people[edit]


  • Vandermonde : secret society of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers.[12]

See also[edit]

(in French) Écoles de l'an III scientifiques



  • Michel Nusimovici, Les écoles de l'an III, 2010 [1]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°52′1″N 2°21′16″E / 48.86694°N 2.35444°E / 48.86694; 2.35444