Directors Forum 2017 - Science engagement & digital media: meant to be?

4 October 2017 - 6 October 2017
Cité des sciences et de l'industrie, Paris, France ® A Robin - EPPDCSI

The 2017 Ecsite Directors Forum will be hosted by Universcience at Cité des Sciences de l'Industrie in Paris, France, on 4-6 October 2017.

Senior Managers of Ecsite Full member organisations will be coming together for 2.5 days of networking, high-profile talks and workshops and peer learning. Registration is open until 15 September. 


The theme: "Science engagement & digital media: meant to be?"

Digital technologies are natural objects and media in many our institutions. Besides being presented as a topic per se, they have been used to enhance the visitor experience, to enrich and diversify access to knowledge, to create worlds.

Let’s step back and question the way fast-evolving digital and social media have transformed society and impacted on our organisations and our relationship with visitors. Is the digital age calling for new values? Are digital media redefining the role of science communication professionals in society? What does learning mean in the digital age? Is a new era of science engagement called for?

A few hours to think about the pros and the cons of digital media without taboos.

Programme highlights

Check out the full programme (also contains practical information). In a nutshell:

Two thought-provoking keynotes await participants. We are revealing one now: Milad Doueihi, American cultural and intellectual historian and Professor of Digital Humanities at Paris-Sorbonne University. He is in particular responsible of the “Humanum” academic chair gathering young researchers working on innovation and digital challenges at stake for human and social sciences, and considered a specialist of digital culture for having theorized “digital humanism” in order to highlight the human dimension of digital technology. 

Four parallel workshops will allow in-depth peer exchange: "Digital technology as a tool for interpretation", "Digital Gender Gap", "The body in a museum of the digital age" and "How does artificial intelligence affect our jobs?"

Also on the programme: an exchange with the Ecsite Board, a peer surgery, a 'provocation session' from the 2017 Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards winners and contributions from participants (a call will be launched for this later in the summer).

Networking highlights will include a dinner and evening visit of Cité des Sciences, a yet to be revealed local excursion and countless opportunities for conversations. 

Browse through the detailed programme here.

Call for contributions

Opening: 5 minutes to share an idea or project
What does this year’s theme “Science engagement and digital media, meant to be?” mean to you and your organisation? 

We are looking for five contributions of 5 minutes each. No “traditional” powerpoint, please – only images, videos… or just you on the stage. We’re looking for lessons learnt – take away ideas for your peers that should include both do’s and don’ts, fundamental questions or concerns.
Case studies will be presented on Wednesday 4 October, just after the Ecsite President’s and our Host’s addresses.
Send a short pitch (300 words max) to Julie Becker at by 25 August, stating:

  • What your project consists or consisted of
  • The main take away messages you’d like to share
  • Your format idea

Contributions will be reviewed by Ecsite and Universcience and selected to ensure an overall balance of partnership types, geographic origin and gender. Priority will be given to those who did not present a case study at last year's Opening. 

Double anniversary for Universcience

On 13 March 1986, the day the Giotto space probe reached Halley’s comet, the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie was officially opened by the French President. From the beginning the mission of the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie was to bridge the gap between science, industry and society. 

The second venue of Universcience, the Palais de la découverte, was designed by Physics Nobel Prize Jean Perrin as an original tool for the promotion of scientific research. Eighty years and thirty five million visitors after opening, the Palais de la découverte offers a unique visitor experience. Thanks to around sixty demonstrations led by facilitators, science interacts with the public like nowhere else.

Universcience has opened a new chapter in its history with a special programme spanning two anniversaries: the 30th of the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie and the 80th of the Palais de la découverte in May 2017

Ready to book?

  • Fill in the online registration form. Registration fee: € 250.- ex-VAT
  • Book your hotel. We strongly recommend the Forest Hill Paris La Villette Hotel ****. The hotel is located a 5-minute walk away from the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, and a 20-min subway ride away from the city centre. Deadline to book: 15 September. Please email and quote the reference DF2017. Special rates for accommodation and breakfast: single room: €168/night | double room: €177/night + tourist tax: €2.48 per person per night.
  • Book your flight - see recommendations at the end of the programme.


  • #EcsiteDF2017




The city of Paris boasts two prestigious centres promoting science and technology, the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie and the Palais de la Découverte. From January 1st, 2010, they have joined forces to create a new institution: Universcience placed under the joint responsibility of the Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the Ministry for Culture. With almost 3.5 million visitors each year (3 million at the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie and 550 000 at the Palais de la découverte), Universcience is the fourth most popular cultural establishment in Paris after the Louvre, Versailles and the Georges-Pompidou Centre.