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Rosalia Vargas voted new President of Ecsite!

Rosalia Vargas, President of Ciência Viva – Pavilion of Knowledge in Lisbon, Portugal, was voted new President of Ecsite at today’s Ecsite Annual General Meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden. Vargas is the first woman to hold this post. The Ecsite community warmly welcomes its new President and looks forward to working with her. Robert Firmhofer, Director of Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, Poland, completed a highly productive two-year (2011-2013) term as President of Ecsite at the meeting.

Firmhofer’s Presidency is well summed up in his introduction to the Ecsite Annual Report 2012:

“Dear Colleagues,

The pan-European collaborative spirit of Ecsite is the focal point of our field. Why? Because year after year, this network reaffirms itself as a knowledge community brokering best practices for young, old, large, medium and small science centres regardless of their location in Europe – and in some cases, abroad. The dream of Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, Poland, of which I am Director, became a reality in large part due to the services and support of the Ecsite network. The power and relevance of Ecsite comes from the diversity, energy and creativity of its members – all of you. So, I invite you to peruse the pages of this Annual Report and take joy in what we have accomplished as a powerful cooperative. These accomplishments, I believe, also foreshadow a prosperous future.

Twenty twelve was a progressive year for Ecsite on many fronts:

  • We have worked diligently to strengthen connections with the European Commission and European Parliament. Ecsite’s energetic and professional work on European projects continues to offer members financial resources and opportunities to cooperate. My role as your President has been to assist at the political level and contribute to successful project applications.
  • Ecsite’s services to members have also taken a leap forward in the past year. Ecsite Stats arrived on the scene in 2012, ushered through by a supportive Ecsite Stats Committee. We will gradually bring greater solidarity and capacity to the science communication field as we build our inventory of institutional statistics across the continent.
  • Ecsite’s profile is also on the rise with the birth of Spokes magazine – a fresh and modern update of the Ecsite Quarterly Newsletter. While the official launch of Spokes takes place in 2013, the planning and strategizing for this publication took place throughout 2012.
  • Supporting the growth of public engagement with science in smaller institutions as well as newly minted centres and museums in Eastern Europe has also been a focus of my Ecsite Presidency. I am proud that more institutions from underrepresented countries such as Croatia and Russia, among others, are taking notice of Ecsite and are attending the conference. This is how Ecsite will continue to broaden its horizons, share knowledge far and wide, and also learn new ways of operating.

As my two-year Ecsite presidential term comes to a close, I express my gratitude to all of you for making it a pleasure and honour to represent this network. Let’s keep up the strong momentum toward fulfilling Ecsite’s Strategic Plan.

Sincerely,

Robert Firmhofer”

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