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First day of Ecsite Annual Conference best of

The sun was back in The Hague today, for the transition from pre-conference to conference. Around 1,000 science engagement professionals gathered at the World Forum, a few hundred meters away from host institution Museon. Highlights of the day include a royal visit, some serious gaming and fun bio-hacking and 1,500 screaming primary school children.   Early-rising newcomers to the conference got a warm welcome with a dedicated breakfast this morning before joining the crowds converging towards the main theatre to attend the Opening event, hosted by Maarten Okkersen. Museon CEO Marie Christine Van Der Sman introduced the ‘People, Planet, Peace’ theme, after which Her Majesty Queen Máxima of The Netherlands and children’s choir gathered around a globe to perform the symbolic opening gesture of this 25th anniversary conference.   Qunli Han, Director of the Ecology and Earth Sciences Division at UNESCO praised science centres in their role as multicultural platforms and urged them to become innovation incubators. Ecsite President Rosalia Vargas insisted on the importance of playing as a learning tool and urged science centres to rise up to the social inclusion challenge, while Executive Director Catherine Franche invited attendees to reflect on ‘I-dentities’ and how they shape science engagement – and professional encounters.   With about 10 sessions running parallel at any one time, it is impossible to report exhaustively on what happened and will be happening next… Enthusiastic attendees and busy Twitter users brought back tales of respectable professionals turning into bio-hackers, termites introducing humans to serious gaming, delirious children dancing at a giant science show, science centres sailing towards a Blue Society… not to forget dinosaurs running loose in the Business Bistro. All of them will be wearing their very best outfits at the Gala Dinner tonight in the Grote Kerk, one of The Hague’s oldest buildings.   Read speeches and download today’s presentations here. Follow the conference on Twitter (#ecsite2014) and Flickr.



As an interactive museum for culture and science, in line with its educational mission and inter-disciplinary approach, it is Museon’s ambition to continue to inspire people to discover the world.