According to andyeducation, France is one of the world’s leading scientific powers. National expenditure on R&D €30,545 million or 2.14% of GDP (4th in the world) (2001). 314.5 thousand people are employed in science, 48.9% of them are the teaching staff of universities, which in France are approx. 20 (including the oldest in Europe, Paris-Sorbonne and the University of Montpellier, founded respectively in the 13th and 15th centuries). 160 thousand people are directly involved in scientific research and development. (75% in the private sector). They are concentrated in various research and development firms, in laboratories and technical centers (there were 5373 of them in 2000). The share of the state in the financing of scientific activities was 21.7% (2001); the funds received were directed mainly to fundamental research, as well as to such industries as like nuclear power, various space programs, weapons production, transport and communications. The business sector focuses on applied research, mainly in electronics, general engineering, automotive, and the chemical industry. These industries accounted for 46.7% of patents issued to residents. However, despite the considerable amount of funds allocated for R & D, French scientific thought in the technical field lags behind its main foreign competitors. Of the 160.0 thousand patents registered in France in 2001, residents received only 21.6 thousand (13.5%); the balance of trade in patents and licenses is persistently negative. World names belong to the French primarily in the social sciences: in sociology F. Durkheim, K. Levi-Strauss, M. Foucault, A. Touraine, in history – F. Braudel.
There is hardly any other country that has had such a powerful influence on Western and world culture in the last 3-4 centuries as F. Castles on the Loire, parks and palaces of Versailles, paintings by old masters from Clouet to Poussin, Greuze, Chardin, romantics Delacroix and Courbet, the Impressionists, the musical creations of Berlioz and Ravel are world-class masterpieces. Almost since the time of Louis XIV, Paris has been considered the cultural capital of the world. In the 20th century this tradition was continued. Here, in the interwar and post-war years, artists from all over the world lived and worked – the Spaniards Picasso and Dali, the Italian Modigliani and the Dutchman Mondrian, the French Marche, Signac, Leger, who together represented almost all the numerous directions of modern painting; France is the birthplace of modern abstract art and, along with the United States, op art and pop art.
French literature, the first written monument of which dates back to 842, has always been one of the largest phenomena in world literature. The medieval tradition of literary creativity (“The Song of Roland”, the works of troubadours and trouveurs, urban fablios, poems by F. Villon) was continued in the 16th century. poets Pleiades, Rabelais and Montaigne, in the 17th century. – Racine, Corneille, Moliere, Lafontaine, in the 18th century. – Voltaire, Beaumarchais, encyclopedists. In the 19th century French literature was adorned by such great names as Hugo and Balzac, Stendhal and Flaubert, Zola and Maupassant, in the beginning. 20th century – M. Proust. In France, in the interwar years, the literary and philosophical trend of existentialism, the philosophy of existence, was born (J.-P. Sartre, A. Camus, Simone de Beauvoir). In the post-war period, the “family” and historical novels of F. Eria, E. Bazin, M. Druon became brilliant examples of critical realism. The creators of the “new novel” direction were A. Robbe-Grillet and Nathalie Sarrot. The names of A. Morois, M. Aime, B. Vian are well known. Writers A. Gide, F. Mauriac, Saint-John Perse are Nobel Prize winners in literature.
French cinematography is very popular in the world. In the works of directors M. Carnet, C. Christian-Jacques, R. Clair, R. Vadim, such stars as J. Gabin, J. Philip, Bourville, Fernandel, L. de Funes, B. Bardot were filmed. French cinema is known primarily for the names of L. Besson, P. Richard, J. Depardieu, Annie Girardot. The undying tradition of French chanson after the 2nd World War was continued by Edith Piaf, Yves Montand, C. Aznavour, Dalida, J. Brel, Brassans, S. Adamo, Mireille Mathieu and others.