Digital Spokes committee

Maarten Okkersen
Head of Communications
I am Head of Communications & Marketing at the Museon (The Hague), since 2012. As a member of the management team, I am involved in a wide range of policy areas and play an active part in formulating the museum concept, devising a vision and planning for the future. The Museon is a partner in various international projects and I am responsible for the management of these. This includes the overall management of the High Tech Romans project, which is in the hands of the Museon. I was a member of the programme committee of the Ecsite Annual Conference between 2009 and 2017. I am also an elected member of the board of the VSC (the association of science museums and science centers in the Netherlands and Flanders) and chair of the editorial committee of Spokes, the monthly online magazine of Ecsite.
Julie Becker, Ecsite
Julie Becker
Communications and Events Manager
I am Ecsite's Communications and Events Manager. Among others this make me the Editor of the Spokes magazine and a member of the Ecsite Conference Programme Committee. Before joining Ecsite in 2014, I was an exhibition developer for ten years: first on the museum side (Natural History Museum London and Royal Museum for Central Africa Belgium), then on the agency side. I'm interested in storytelling and public engagement across all media and I'm a big advocate of our field's role in shaping more open-minded and more sustainable societies. I hold a Museum Studies MA from Leicester University (UK).
Andrea Bandelli
Andrea Bandelli
Executive director
Having championed the use of internet as a collaborative educational platform in schools and museums in Italy in the early 1990s, I worked on the development of both the science center NEMO in Amsterdam and the Miami Museum of Science, and collaborated for several years with the Exploratorium in San Francisco. I have led, managed and evaluated several international projects linked with science, art, democracy and public participation — many in collaboration with Ecsite. I have written widely on public engagement with science and I have recently completed my doctoral research on scientific citizenship and the role of public participation in science centres. I am the executive director of Science Gallery International.
Raquel da Cunha, Ecsite
Raquel da Cunha
Events and Communications Officer & Project Manager
I have been Ecsite’s Events and Communications Officer since March 2015. Before Ecsite, I was a doctoral researcher in Neurobiology and I founded and organised Patients Meet Scientists, a platform to bring researchers and patients together. At Ecsite, I also manage a EU-funded project: Nano2All, an initiative to help establish the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) policy and governance on nanotechnologies.
Wiktor Gajewski
Science and Art Events Director
From an explainer to a Science and Art Events director – I did it all in my science centre career. Passionate about how science connects with other areas of culture, I lead a team of science communicators, curators and events coordinators at the Copernicus Science Centre in Poland. Together we create a program of festivals, debates, meetings and happenings allowing the public to learn about, discuss and be inspired by science and technology.
Aliki Giannakopoulou
Project Manager
I am a researcher at the department of Research and Development in Ellinogermaniki Agogi, a school based in Greece. I am involved in a number of European projects mainly in the field of responsible research and innovation. I previously worked at Science Museum NEMO as a project manager and have also worked at Ecsite for a number of years as a Communications and Events manager. I hold a degree in Environmental science and a Science Communications Masters from the University of the West of England in the UK.
Antonio Gomes da Costa
Director of Scientific Mediation and Education
I am a scientific consultant at Universcience (Paris, France), working for the scientific and cultural programme of the Palais de la Découverte. I am working also in projects aspects for science in society, particularly in science communication in the Post-Truth context. Prior to working full time in science communication, I was a teacher and a researcher in the field of bioenergetics. In 2000 I was invited to work for Ciência Viva, the Portuguese National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture, where I was actively involved in developing a network of science centres. From 2010 till 2014, I was the Coordinator of PLACES, an Ecsite-led European project on local science communication policies that involved more than 23 EU countries. From 2014 till 2017, I worked as consultant for project development for major European science centres and museums and as a consultant for public engagement in the Middle East.
Maria Xanthoudaki
Director of Education and of the Centre of Research in Informal Learning
I am Director of Education & Centre for Research in Informal Education (CREI) at the National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci of Milano. I also teach “Research Methods in Education” at the Department of Education, Catholic University of Milan. I hold a BA in Pedagogy from the University of Crete (Greece), a Master’s degree in Arts Education and a Phd in Museum Education, both from the University of Sussex (UK). My main research interests focus on informal (science) learning methodologies and on professional development of educators in museums.
Responsible editor
Catherine Franche
Executive Director
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.