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Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards

The Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards encourage those people and organisations who demonstrate innovation, creativity and who through their work actively show how they are making an impact. They are a source of inspiration for others.

Encouraging participation, fostering curiosity, engaging minds, having fun.

Created in 2015, the Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards encourage creative and impactful work within the informal science education sector.
Open to all Ecsite members, they provide a prestigious incentive and reward, and contribute to the development of excellence in science engagement.

The awards are named after José Mariano Gago (1948 - 2015), a key figure of European science engagement. He was a founder of the Portuguese Ciência Viva network of science centres and an active contributor to Ecsite activities over the years. "In a few decades Mariano Gago was able to build a modern scientific community deeply rooted in Portuguese society, implementing his vision that science is source of both technical and human progress. Mariano Gago was also the founder of LIP," explained Mário Pimenta President of the LIP laboratory, generous contributor to the Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards.

Need a visually attractive introduction to the Awards? This brochure is for you.

Past awards

Browse through past editions: categories, winners, jury members...

past awards

2019 Awards

Winner - Beacon of the Year
Barbara Streicher

Barbara Streicher (Executive Manager at Science Center Netzwerk, Vienna Austria) won the Beacon of the Year Award for personal embodiment of our network’s values.

Winner - Sustainable Success

The non-profit organisation SciCo (Athens, Greece) won in the ‘Sustainable Success’ category for "STEMpowering Youth" - a STEM educational programme which brings together young students and educators from remote areas of Greece in order to work together out of school, come up with their own innovative ideas and develop them into real-life projects that solve local community problems.

Special mention

Universcience (Paris, France) got a special mention for taking a timely stance to counteract the spreading of misinformation with the “Data Science vs. Fake News” project, which sets a brave example for the science engagement field.

The winners were announced on 6 June at the Opening event of the 2019 Ecsite Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark

Beacon of the Year

The Beacon of the Year Award celebrates inspirational individuals who have been contributing to our field and to the Ecsite network. The Award recognises innovative visionaries who are empowering and motivating their peers to reach a common goal: emboldening citizens to engage with science.


The winner received an amount of €2,500, a trophy and a certificate at the ceremony which took place during the Opening event of the 2019 Ecsite Conference (Copenhagen, Denmark) on 6 June 2019.

Sustainable Success

The Sustainable Success Award celebrates long-lasting impact: projects that embody the values of science engagement, that are visionary and socially relevant. For this Award, organisations put their own applications in or be prompted to do so by a peer who thinks their project deserves recognition.


The winner organisation received a trophy and a certificate at the ceremony which took place during the Opening event of the 2019 Ecsite Conference (Copenhagen, Denmark) on 6 June 2019.

The Jury