Ecsite, the European network of science centres and museums, held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) online last week. During the virtual event, it appointed a new President, Bruno Maquart, Chairman and CEO of Universcience in Paris, France.
Speaking about his new role, Maquart says, “It is a great honour for me to be elected as Ecsite President. I can assure you I will be fully dedicated to Ecsite and its members, and committed to shape with all of you the future of our field.”
Implementing a new strategy
Maquart has been a member of the Ecsite board since 2017, and Ecsite Vice President since 2020. Previously, Herbert Münder, Director of Universum Bremen in Germany served as President for a two-year period, from 2019.
As he steps into the role, Maquart says that a key priority will be the implementation of Ecsite’s new strategy:
“In 2020, Ecsite adopted a new strategy. That is a major achievement. We owe special thanks to Herbert and to all members involved in the process. It is the result of an intense and unprecedented collaborative work. It is now a question of implementing it, paying special attention to Ecsite sustainability.”
In addition, he also says that working towards a member-first attitude is important and looks to a future where “we must all innovate, be bolder and embrace the future, while caring for one another.”
“We must all continue to move forward, having faith in our individual as well as collective capacity for invention. We are a group of creative institutions, listening to changes in the world and convinced of the importance of the role of science in our societies.”
The importance of the Ecsite community
Maquart has served as Chairman and CEO of Universcience in 2015 and has recently been confirmed for another five-year mandate, running until the end of 2025.
Speaking of his time as Ecsite Vice-President, he says: “This was very helpful during the pandemic, where we have come together more frequently to deal with the issues that the crisis has raised, thanks to Catherine Franche (Ecsite’s Executive Director), the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees.
“It is undoubtedly through the last year, more than ever, that I felt the importance of Ecsite as a community and that my desire to serve it as President was born.”
He originally trained as an agricultural engineer and has worked in social affairs and culture in his time as a civil servant. He also has strong experience in managing organisations and institutional relations at the highest political level.
The Ecsite Board in 2021
Universum (Bremen, Germany) – Herbert Münder, Director
- Copernicus Science Centre (Warsaw, Poland) – Robert Firmhofer, Chief Executive Officer
- Experimentarium (Hellerup, Denmark) – Kim Gladstone Herlev, Executive Director
- focusTerra, ETH Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland) – Ulrike Kastrup, Museum Director
- Heureka – The Finnish Science Centre (Vantaa, Finland) – Mikko Myllykoski, Director
- Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Toulouse (Toulouse, France) – Francis Duranthon, Museum Director
- Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto (MHNC-UP) (Porto, Portugal) – Maria João Fonseca, Interim Executive Coordinator / Head of Communication
- Natural History Museum (London, United Kingdom) – Clare Matterson CBE, Executive
Director of Engagement
- NOESIS – Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum (Thessaloniki, Greece) – Thanassis Kontonikolaou, General Manager
- Psiquadro (Perugia, Italy) – Leonardo Alfonsi, Director
- Rijksmuseum Boerhaave (Leiden, the Netherlands) – Amito Haarhuis, Director
- Stiftung Neanderthal Museum (Mettmann, Germany) – Baerbel Auffermann, Director
- Technopolis, the Flemish Science Centre (Mechelen, Belgium) – Stephane Berghmans,
Chief Executive Officer
Ecsite also recently revealed more details of its Online Conference, which will run from 9 – 11 June 2021.