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

Testing an augmented reality app in the Valerian and Laureline exhibition as part of the 2017 Ecsite Directors Forum, Cite des sciences et de l'industrie, Paris, France, 4 October. © V Viennet EPPDCSI

Universcience hosted the 2017 Ecsite Directors Forum at Cité des sciences de l'industrie in Paris, France, on 4-6 October 2017. 70+ Senior Managers of Ecsite Full member organisations go together, making it the largest Directors Forum to date. A warm thank you to the Universcience team for the superb welcome they gave attendees, with high-level and well balanced keynotes, stimulating workshops and a spotless social programme. 

Browse through the pictures, check out the programme, get a glimpse of social media activity on Twitter and read our summary.

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.

This Directors Forum was an invitiation to 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?

For a few hours, Senior Managers got together to think about the pros and the cons of digital media without taboos.

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


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Universcience is one of the most popular cultural institution in Paris and one of the major science centre in Europe, with more than two million visitors per year. Universcience bring together two cultural venues and an online media: the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, the Palais de la découverte and leblob.fr