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#Ecsite2021 highlights

Conference Hosts Dorothée Vatinel and Brad Irwin on day 3 of the 2021 Ecsite Conference

The Ecsite Online Conference took place last week, on 9-11 June. It was Ecsite's first Online Conference and was attended by 1,277 participants from 58 different countries, making it the largest Ecsite Conference ever.

A big thank you to all the participants who made this online edition so special and for bringing your enthusiasm and spirit to the event! We'll be sending a link to all registered ticket-holders this week so that you can (re-)watch and enjoy all the sessions.

Don't forget, you can still give us feedback by filling in the online evaluation form.


Conference Hosts Dorothée Vatinel and Brad Irwin (who some of you may remember from the 2020 Ecsite Day) were our guides during the three days, with Dorothée's collection of mementos and souvenirs growing on almost an hourly basis! Brad kept us all up to date with Twitter happenings and created a beautiful backdrop of images.

We were joined each day by an inspiring keynote speaker; Ewine van Dishoeck on day 1, John Falk on day 2 and Melati Wijsen on day 3. Each of these keynotes spoke with passion and enthusiasm for their fields, and we were left feeling enriched by their speeches and their Q&A sessions. Ewine van Dishoeck took us on a journey through the stars and to the water in our own glasses. John discussed the real value of museum visits and wellbeing, and for the final day, Melati Wijsen shared with us her climate-change journey and new project to empower and inspire youth to act as change-makers.

Two dedicated session slots were held at the end of day 2 and day 3 to discuss three main Conference commitments: Climate and biodiversity crisis, 21st century skills and Equity and inclusion. These three commitments reflect part of Ecsite's new strategy and many of the Conference sessions were linked to one of these three strands. Camille Pisani, Colin Johnson and Lewis Hou shared their thoughts and observations, with Amito Haarhuis moderating.

We also heard from scientist and politician Alexandre Quintanilha, sharing his thoughts and perspectives on knowledge, and on day 3, Ecsite Executive Director Catherine Franche shared her thoughts and reflected on how far science engagement organisations have come during such a challenging period.

There were a total of 73 sessions taking place during the event, and almost 300 different speakers. These sessions included a mix of panels, interactive tinkering, audio-only sessions, debates, fireside chats, discussions and workshops. To our speakers and convenors; we thank you warmly for your input, wisdom (and patience) over the last weeks and months. What makes the Ecsite Conference so special and so unique are the perspectives you bring to these days.

We were treated to virtual cheese and drinks at the Business Buzz Happy Hour, as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of exhibition-making and lots of music from Ciencia Viva.

And finally, the social events! The inaugural Ecsite Goes Eurovision on day 1 was an incredible success, with the Heureka rock band taking the crown with their blockbusting performance of the Queen hit 'Don't Stop me Now.' Runners up included a duet, costume changes and even an original number.

Day 2's Not-so-Nocturne provided Conference-goers with a whole range of activities and videos to watch. We were taught the science of baking while making our own scones, made zines, joined breakout rooms or watched tours and demos from some of our member organisations.

Day 3 ended in typical Ecsite Conference fashion - a dance party, complete with a DJ and plenty of colour!


We are busy compiling a video which rells the rich and wonderful story of #Ecsite2021. Meanwhile, you can already browse through thousands of #Ecsite2021 tweets and Instagram posts.


See you in Heilbronn, Germany for #Ecsite2022 on 2-4 June 2022 - the call for session proposals will be open later this year.


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