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Ecsite board

Executive committee

Herbert Muender
Presidency
Herbert Muender
General Manager
Bremen
Germany
I am the Managing Director of Universum® Bremen. Before that, I was the Managing Director of Wissenschaft im Dialog (2002-2011) and developed this initiative towards a center of competence for science communication in Germany. I was responsible for annual projects like MS Wissenschaft (exhibition ship) and Wissenschaftssommer (German national science week) and coordinated research activities on participation formats like student parliaments. I organised the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) 2006 and initiated the Forum Wissenschaftskommunikation (German conference on science communication). I am a Board member of MINTaktiv, the German network of science centers and technical museums, and was the President of Eusea in 2010-2011. I have been sitting on the Ecsite Board since 2014. I served as Vice-President in 2016-2017, was elected President in June 2017 and re-elected for a second two-year presidential mandate in June 2019.
Bruno Maquart, Universcience President © Ph Levy_EPPDCSI
Vice-Presidency
Bruno Maquart
Chairman and CEO
Paris
France
Since July 2015, I have been the chairman and CEO of Universcience, the first French public institution devoted to communicating scientific and technical culture. It comprises two venues in Paris, Palais de la découverte (founded in 1937) and the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie (founded in 1986). For the last twenty-five years of my career, I've been working in two different fields, both in the public sector: culture and social affairs. In 2001, I took over as managing director of Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou in Paris. Then, I was appointed head of Agence France-Museums, owned by French major cultural institutions, which I ran from 2007 to 2010. This company is in charge of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project, in the United Arab Emirates. My last position with the Ministry for Social Affairs and Health was chief of Minister Marisol Touraine's staff. I was appointed by the French government Officer of the Ordre des Arts et Lettres and Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honour. I started a first Trustee’s mandate on the Ecsite Board in June 2017. I June 2019 I was re-elected for a second two-year term and chosen by the Board to be the Acting Past President of Ecsite.
Executive Director
Catherine Franche
Executive Director
Brussels
Belgium
I am the Executive Director of Ecsite. Under my leadership, the Ecsite Conference has grown to become the largest science engagement event in Europe and Ecsite has firmly established itself as a trend setting platform and as a key stakeholder on the European stage. Before I joined Ecsite in 2006, I was working for the Office de Coopération et d’Information Muséographiques (OCIM, France) as a Training coordinator. From 1992 to 1994, I was Professional development coordinator and then Executive director of the Société des Musées Québécois. I have also worked in architecture and art museums in Canada and managed cultural events such as jazz festivals. I hold an MBA in cultural management from HEC Montréal (Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales).
Kim Gladstone Herlev
Treasurer
Kim Gladstone Herlev
Executive Director,
Hellerup
Denmark
I am an educated teacher and have more than 14 years of experience as a science center leader - since 1 July 2014 as the CEO of Experimentarium. I first joined Experimentarium in January 2003 when I was asked to establish its Department of Science Communication. Since then I have been through lots of challenges - huge and small - including the construction of a new science centre, going from small to bigger, reorganizing the staff, surviving crucial economic situations and fighting to keep a high level of science communication. Before Experimentarium I led the school departments of Denmark's largest consumer organisation Coop Denmark and of the Danish Society for the Conservation of Nature – Denmark's largest NGO. I love sharing my experience with people and I love learning from others. I am an alumni of the Noyce Leadership Fellows and I currently serve as the co-chair of the CPPC (ASTC planning committee). I served a first mandate on the Board of Ecsite in 2014-2016, a second one in 2017-2019 and was re-elected for another two-year term in June 2019.
Past Presidency representative
Marjolein van Breemen
Deputy Director
Amsterdam
Netherlands
As a member of the Board of Directors, I’m in charge of all programmes of the NEMO Science Museum and NEMO Kennislink and in that role I connect the networks of science, museum and education, through the museum, online, in schools and other institutes nationwide. In my previous role I was Head of Learning & Research at NEMO. Under my responsibly NEMO developed the teaching method ‘Maakkunde’ that sustainably implements STEM learning though inquiry and design in primary schools throughout the Netherlands. Over the years I have worked with many international partners, many of which are Ecsite member, on projects that develop programmes to stimulate children’s talents in the field of STEM. I have an MSc in Biology and specialized in Science communication- and Education. In the period 2014-2015 I participated in the International Noyce Leadership Programme. I succeeded Michiel Buchel as the NEMO Science Museum representative on the Ecsite Board in June 2019.

Trustees

Leonardo Alfonsi
Leonardo Alfonsi
Director at Psiquadro
Perugia
Italy
I’m the Director of Psiquadro, the social enterprise I founded with some colleagues in 2002 to develop and implement science events, science exhibitions and science communication projects all over Italy. I am active in the international science communication field, at the crossroads of the events and the science centre and museums communities. I love combining creativity and professionalism to turn new ideas into real experiences, such as the unique science performances festival 'The Einstein Island', and to work jointly with national and international cultural institutions: from universities and research centres to science centres and museums, from cities to diverse cultural actors. I served as President of the European Science Engagement Association (Eusea) and in 2015 I received the “Romeo Bassoli” prize for outreach activities awarded by the Italian Physical Society. I’m currently the coordinator of SHARPER, the European Researchers’ Night in 13 Italian cities, and of FameLab Italy, the global public speaking competition for young researchers. I was elected on the Ecsite Board in June 2019.
Baerbel Auffermann
Baerbel Auffermann
Director
Mettmann
Germany
I am the director of Neanderthal Museum in Germany. We are telling the story of human evolution close to the famous site where the first Neanderthal remains were discovered. Together with my team I aim at generating an interest in the subject of human evolution. The thematic orientation of our museum is unique: in short we are a museum about people for people. I am archaeologist and worked as exhibition manager at Neanderthal Museum since the opening in 1996. I played a decisive role in the conception and delivery of visitor-oriented permanent and temporary exhibitions. In the upcoming years I plan to intensify the exchange of our researchers with the exhibition and education staff. I aim at driving forward the inclusive opening of the museum. I was elected on the Ecsite Board in June 2019 for a two-year Trustee’s mandate.
Stephane Berghmans
Stephane Berghmans
CEO
Mechelen
Belgium
I am an experienced innovator and intrapreneur. My goal is to make innovation happen in organisations. I have a background in chemical engineering and before joining Technopolis in 2016 I worked in R&D an innovation in several technology fields (materials, pharmaceuticals, connectivity). Technopolis has been holding a Trustee’s position on the Ecsite Board since June 2017. I started representing our organisation on it early 2018, ans was re-elected from a second two-year mandate in June 2019.
Francis Duranthon
Museum Director
TOULOUSE
France
Francis Duranthon is the Director of the Museum of Toulouse. He has a PHD in Paleontology and also graduated with an HDR (habilitation a diriger les recherches) in Museology. He joined the museum as a curator for the geological collection in 1982. During the renovation of the Museum, he was first in charge of the museological programme for the permanent exhibition. He then worked on the creation of a public/visitor's department and a joint research laboratory with Toulouse University. Engaged in public education, he created many programmes for French television with 146 magazines about paleontology, prehistory, earth sciences and archaeology and 80 short programmes on museum collections. As a paleontologist, he is part of two research programs about the origin of humankind in the south of Africa. He is a member of the National Council for Nature for the French Ministry of Ecology, and one of the experts for the French UICN (l'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature en France).
Robert Firmhofer
Robert Firmhofer
CEO
Warsaw
Poland
I am the founding director and the Chief Executive Officer of the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw. Since its opening in 2010, Copernicus has been welcoming over one million visitors every year. I am also the co-founder and organizer of the Science Picnic, Europe’s largest outdoor science communication event. Before working at the Copernicus Science Centre, I was a long-time editor in chief for science and education at the Polish Radio, where I also hosted science and educational programmes. On the international level, I am the member of the International Programme Committee for the Science Centres World Summit, serve as the European Commission expert and sit on the Advisory Board of Science in Society, USA, as well as the Strategic Planning Committee of the International Planetarium Society. I believe that the success of social projects can only be built through collaboration and partnership on the strong foundations of trust, creativity and a bold vision. I joined Ecsite in 2004 and served as its Board Member between 2008 and 2015. In 2011 I was elected the President of Ecsite for a two year term. In 2017 I was elected for a new Trustee’s mandate, and re-elected for another two-year term in June 2019.
Maria João Fonseca
Maria João Fonseca
Interim Executive Coordinator / Head of Communication
Porto
Portugal
With a background in animal biology and biology teaching and a PhD in science education and communication, I am currently Interim Executive Coordinator and Head of Communication at the Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto. I am in charge of general administration and of coordinating and promoting science communication and outreach activities. I have been involved in the design and evaluation of formal and informal educational activities, teacher training, and outreach initiatives for all sorts of audiences. Also, I am currently part of the team responsible for the reconstruction of the Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto.
Amito Haarhuis
Director
Leiden
Netherlands
I have spent my whole career working on quality science education, from being a STEM teacher trainer and author of a study book for student teachers, a presenter of science experiments in a television show, to creating memorable experiential learning experiences in a science museum. As the Deputy Director of NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam, I was concerned with transforming the museum in a 21st century context, introducing a new STEM curriculum in the Netherlands and really involving citizens in scientific and technological developments. Since 1 April 2018, I am the Director of Rijksmuseum Boerhaave in Leiden, the Dutch National Museum of the History of Science and Medicine. It tells the stories of the major discoveries in the history of science in the Netherlands, the scientists behind them, and the impact of their discoveries on our lives today. I was elected on the Ecsite Board in June 2019 for a two-year Trustee’s mandate.
ulrike_kastrup
Ulrike Kastrup
Museum director
Zurich
Switzerland
As first director of focusTerra, the Earth Science Research and Information Centre and museum at one of the world's leading universities, ETH Zurich, I had the opportunity to develop its vision and strategy and to create a lively, today well-established museum that informs about the wonders of the Earth. The focus of my work lies on promoting the understanding, discovery, and enjoyment of our planet and by informing our visitors of the role and relevance of the Earth's natural resources. Already in my previous positions I have been working on establishing a stronger bridge between science and the public. Trained as a natural scientist I have been working in the field of natural risk management and how good communication can prevent or mitigate adverse effects in case of an event. For eight years I have also been a member of the European Environment Agency’s Scientific Committee, advising on communication and natural risks. I started a first Trustee’s mandate on the Ecsite Board in June 2017, and was re-elected in June 2019 for a second two-year term.
Thanassis Kontonikolaou
Thanassis Kontonikolaou
General Manager
Thermi
Greece
I have been the Director General as well as Technical Director of NOESIS – The Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum since 2012. Besides the administration and custody on the construction of new infrastructures of NOESIS, I’m responsible for new projects, I oversee competitions, the evaluation of tenders, the composition and checking of projects, services and supplies contracts. In 2002-2008 I worked for EFTA (the European Investment Bank), in charge of “Competitiveness” and “Culture”: as the Head of surveillance I oversaw project funding and was in charge of finding new sources of funding. I have a degree from the School of Electrical Engineers of the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki and I’m also member of the Experts Committee of the Technical Chamber. I was elected to sit on the Ecsite Board in June 2018.
Mikko Myllykoski
Director
Vantaa
Finland
I am experience director at Heureka, the Finnish science centre. My background is in history and classical philology, which both keep inspiring me through my life and times in science engagement. I think that in our profession we are, in fact, dramaturgists and storytellers. Besides science communication, I have a broad interest in nature, cultures and languages – and especially in building bridges between them. – To live and to mix.