After the events of May 1968, a restructuring took place through the creation of a fundamental astrophysics department in Meudon, run by Evry Schatzman. At the IAP, Jean-Claude Pecker, professor and chair of the theoretical astrophysics department at the Collège de France, took over from André Lallemand as institute director. Laboratory work continued, but the development of tools was progressively set aside to focus on the use of space-based data. In terms of theoretical work, more attention was devoted to the study of atmospheres and environments, and later, to the study of our Galaxy and galaxies in general.
During Jean Audouze's tenure, between 1978 and 1989, the IAP's subjects of study were completely modernized : nucleosynthesis of light elements, physics of the instellar medium, physical cosmology, galactic evolution, astroparticles; geophysics is permanently dropped. In 1985, Jean Audouze and Daniel Kunth organized the first of IAP’s prestigious series of international symposia.