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Brigitte Coutant made Ecsite Honorary Fellow

Brigitte Coutant at 2012 Ecsite Annual Conference in Toulouse, France
Brigitte Coutant at 1997 Ecsite Annual Conference in Brussels, BelgiumBrigitte Coutant at 2013 Directors Forum in Lisbon, Portugal

A new Ecsite Honorary Fellow was announced tonight in Trento at the Ecsite conference’s Gala Dinner: Brigitte Coutant. Honorary fellows are nominated by the Ecsite Board for having gained outstanding merit by their activity and devotion to Ecsite or to the science engagement field.

Brigitte Coutant’s contribution was instrumental for the recognition of scientific culture in France and Europe and she has been a long-standing advocate of the science centre’s international role. She played a key role in the Ecsite network over the years: active from the organisation’s very early days, she served successively on the board as Treasurer, Chair of the Annual Conference Programme Committee and Vice-President.

Brigitte retired last February from universcience, Paris, where she was Director of National and International Relations at Universcience, while announcing she would remain involved in the field.

She stated: “I feel privileged to have dedicated my professional life to this exciting, challenging mission: bringing science and technology into culture. The friendship of our field, the shared passion and conviction of the importance of scientific and technical culture for and with the public have created a unique and highly valuable spirit. We often compare our field to a family and I think it is true. We have to keep it. The creation of Ecsite has been an exciting adventure which I shared with several pioneers. I feel proud of it. Since the beginning, I have accompanied the association in its growth. Today, thanks to the vision of its Presidents and Directors, to the commitment of the Board and of its members, Ecsite has become a key platform for science engagement in Europe but also worldwide. I wish the organization a great future, under the leadership of Catherine Franche and her team. I will stay available to share my experience and contribute to the development of the network.” A dedication she showed by chairing the Annual General Meeting this year.

Brigitte Coutant graduated from the University of La Sorbonne and from the Institute of Political Sciences in Paris (Institut d'Etudes Politiques). After a first experience in a non-governmental international agency, she joined the project team mandated by the French government to deliver the feasibility study of Cité des sciences et de l'industrie in 1979.

In charge of international development, she developed extensive international policies and programmes at the Cité des sciences, with expertise ranging from outreach programmes and travelling exhibitions to consultancy for designing new equipment.

Also in charge of national development, she was in charge of organizing the national governance for science centres and museums in the last years of her career, under the presidency of Claudie Haigneré, former French astronaut and Minister of Research.

Brigitte was also member of the board of ICOM France and representative of Universcience in the Unesco French committee.


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2015 Ecsite Conference

The 2015 Ecsite Conference took place in Trento, Italy, on 11-13 June. It gathered 1,101 participants from 52 different countries, breaking an attendance record. Look back on the appetizing “Food for curious minds” edition cooked up by conference host MUSE.