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Ecsite and its conference are turning 30

#Ecsite2019 - A very special conference

On 17 October 1988, ten European delegates of the Association of Science Technology Centers (ASTC) conference met at the Roof café of the Museum of Science, Boston. Inspired by the peer learning already enabled by ASTC for 15 years and convinced that the growing European science centre stage needed its own professional exchange hub, this group of people decided to found a European network of science centres.

A few weeks later, on 9 January 1989, two dozen science centres were represented at Ecsite’s founding meeting at Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris. It took 2.5 more years until the creation of Ecsite as a legal entity – which did not prevent the first Ecsite conference from taking place in the meantime from 19-20 June 1990, gathering a little less than 100 people at Museon in The Hague. We are now expecting more than 1,100 attendees in Copenhagen for the 30th edition on 6-8 June 2019!

In 30 years, membership numbers, conference crowds and the Ecsite team all multiplied by ten. Yet in spite of our network's and field's impressive growth and diversification beyond Ecsite's "historic" science centre and science museum membership, the founding values of cooperation, openness, professionalism, generosity and diversity are intact. This is not a miracle: they have been passed on and nourished by an ever-growing web of passionate professionals.

Mirroring the network's gestation that took multiple gatherings and several revolutions around the Sun, thirty years later we decided to grant ourselves the luxury of time: the extended Ecsite family is invited to a whole anniversary season, that started in autumn 2018 and will span several months.

This is an invitation to celebrate, reflect and act: we are taking pride in our accomplishments, cheering together, and using this opportunity to shape the future. Under the unifying hashtag #Ecsite30, the season is combining a few carefully orchestrated happenings with spontaneous elements emerging from our community's collective wishes and creativity, true to Ecsite's collaborative and bottom-up spirit. How can we best serve the societies we live in in the next 30 years? The discussion is open. Seize #Ecsite30 and turn it into a meaningful springboard for the future!


A special anniversary edition

  • Throughout the Conference: this anniversary edition will surprise conference regulars. There will be more parallel sessions than in past editions, some of which will be taking place in unusual settings like Experimentarium’s iconic helix coper staircase; participants will be able to choose between a “classic” seated lunch and a picnic wherever they want, including in exhibition spaces; plenary moments will be live streamed to almost a dozen spaces in Experimentarium, where participants will enjoy these moments with coffee, snacks or informal seating depending on the space they choose; etc.
  • Opening Ceremony, Thursday 6 June, 9.45 - 11.00: discover our anniversary video
  • 30 years of Ecsite session, Friday 7 June, The Beach, 12:00 - 13:15: join this participatory session and put the “celebrate-reflect-act” anniversary motto into practice
  • Nocturne, Friday 7 June, 22.00: cheer and sing along at a big “happy birthday” moment  
  • From Thursday to Saturday: leave a wish for the future as part of our beautiful anniversary installation on the 2nd floor

More on the Ecsite anniversary

  • Read this Spokes column by Herbert Münder, Ecsite President
  • Discover these interviews with five people who played a crucial role in founding and/or building Ecsite


  • #Ecsite30
  • #ecsite2019