Programme Committee

ESOF 2018 Programme Committee members

The Programme Committee is responsible for the overall programme preparation, the selection of speakers as well as for the launch of calls for sessions and the evaluation of proposals.

Andres Metspalu (Estonia)

Director of Estonian Genome Center, University of Tartu, Chair of the ESOF 2018 Programme Committee

Genomics, Biotechnology, Medicine


Andres Metspalu obtained MD in 1976, PhD in molecular biology in 1979. Postdoc at Colombia University and Yale University in 1981-1982. His main scientific interests are human genomics, genetics of complex diseases and population based biopanks and application of the precision medicine in health care. He has published over 350 papers. In 1993-1994 he was at Baylor CM, Houston, as a visiting faculty and in 2000 at IARC, in Lyon as a recipient of the International Visiting Senior Scientist Award. A. Metspalu is the past (2006) president of the Eur. Soc. of Hum. Genetics. In 2010 he was elected to the Estonian Academy of Sciences. He has supervised 20 Ph.D. theses, is serving in several national and international committees (SAC of Science Europe), editorial boards and has received among other awards and honors the Order of the Estonian Red Cross 3rd Class and L’Ordre des Palmes Academiques from the Republic of France. From 2010 he was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa from Vilnius University.

Martin Andler (France)

Vice-President of EuroScience, Professor at the Université de Versailles St Quentin, Vice-Chair of the ESOF 2018 Programme Committee

Mathematics, History of Mathematics


Martin Andler is Professor of Mathematics at the Université de Versailles St Quentin. Before that he was affiliated with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Paris-Diderot and Ecole Normale Supérieure. He has had visiting positions at Rutgers University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Insitute for Advanced Study.  His fields of research are mathematics (representation theory of Lie groups) and history of science (mathematics in the XIXth and XXth century). Apart from his strictly academic involvement, he is interested in science communication, science policy and more generally science and society issues. He is very involved in promoting mathematics for young people, as president of the Animath association. He is the convenor of the working group on Higher Education and Research of the Terra Nova thinktank, and a Vice-President of EuroScience since 2013. He was a vice-chair of the ESOF 2016 Programme Committee.

Gilbert Casamatta (France)

Professor at the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, President of the Institut de Recherche Technologique Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Chemical Engineering


Originally Professor Gilbert Casamatta is a chemical engineer who has carried out and led applied research in the field and has been deeply involved in industrial innovation especially devoted to safer and cleaner processes and green engineering.

Former President of the INP Toulouse and of the Higher Education and Research Cluster « University of Toulouse » he has led a global action to promote scientific excellence.

Now President of the Institut de Recherche Technologique Antoine de Saint-Exupéry he is involved in innovation for aerospace and embedded systems.

Sharon Cosgrove (UK)

Executive Director of Strategy, Planning and Communications at the Science and Technology Facilities Council

Science Policy and Analysis, Strategy, Media


Dr Sharon Cosgrove is Executive Director of Strategy, Planning and Communications at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).  She worked in policy for the Department of the Environment and then held a number of government strategy positions before joining STFC in 2009 to lead on strategic business planning, communications, partnership and International relations.  Sharon has a key role in strengthening STFC’s relationship with Government and has responsibility for bringing together the core functions that are needed to help STFC shape, communicate and monitor its national and international agenda.

Kirsten Drotner (Denmark)

Chair of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Southern Denmark

Media and Communication Studies, Heritage Communication


Kirsten Drotner is chair of media and communication studies at the University of Southern Denmark and founding director of two national R&D programmes, Our Museum and DREAM. She is a distinguished researcher on media audiences, on digital media literacies, and on heritage communication. She has lectured and taught in more than 20 countries around the world, and she is on the editorial boards of leading, international journals in media and cultural studies. She currently serves as chair of the section Film, Media and Visual Studies at Academia Europaea and is a trustee of the Academy's council. She is a board member of the Danish Film Institute, of the Clara Lachmann Foundation, and a member of the Danish Radio and Television Board. Her extensive experience in research advice and assessment includes serving as chair of the Scientific Committee for the Humanities at Science Europe; as an international member of the UK Research Excellence Framework; and as a board member of the Danish Council for Independent Research. Kirsten Drotner is an elected fellow of Academia Europaea, of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, of the International Communication Association and recipient of the Association’s Applied Research Award.

Ulrike Felt (Austria)

Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Vienna

Science and Technology Studies, Sociology


Ulrike Felt is Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Head of the interfaculty research platform “Responsible research and innovation in academic practice” and was founding chair of the STS department in Vienna. Currently she is also Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Vienna. She holds a PhD in physics. Her research focuses on technosciences and democracy, changing research cultures, as well as the role of time/future at the interface of research and society. Her areas of study cover life science and (bio)medicine, nanotechnology and material sciences, new technologies and sustainability research. She has been invited professor at numerous universities and has been involved in policy advice to the European Commission, the ESF as well as to national bodies. From 2002-2007 she was editor-in-chief of Science, Technology, & Human Values. She was the leading the editorial team of the most recent Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (MIT Press 2017).

Maryline Fiaschi (Belgium)

Managing Director at the Science Business Publishing Ltd

Science Business, Media, EU Education


Maryline Fiaschi is Managing Director at Science|Business, a media and communications company specialised in EU innovation policy. She combines experiences in media and European affairs. After six years managing EU education programmes with the European Commission, she entered the media business in 2007 in Shanghai. She held business development positions at the Shanghai Daily and, back in Brussels, at EU affairs media company EurActiv before joining Science|Business in 2011. Today she is also an external evaluator for several EU education and R&I programmes. Maryline holds degrees from Université La Sorbonne, Università di Bologna and Université catholique de Louvain. 

Alaa I. Ibrahim (Egypt)



Dr. Alaa Ibrahim received his PhD, MPh, MSc from George Washington Univ. and Univ. of Maryland at College Park, while conducting research at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). He spent a postdoc at NASA GSFC and another at MIT as a Fulbright Scholar. Highlights of his research include the discovery of the new neutron star (XTE J1810-197) and the first decadal survey of atmospheric particulate matter over Egypt. As an educator, he enriches science education with experiential, project-based and community-based learning. As an advocate of science outreach, he develops programs of lifelong learning to society. His initiatives were featured in invited editorials in Science and Nature magazines. Dr. Ibrahim was awarded the best PhD thesis by George Washington University, the Fulbright Scholar Fellowship, United Nations Summer Academy Fellowship, The American University in Cairo Provost and Dean (twice) Awards, Cairo University Achievement Award, and the Egyptian National Radio Medal.

Pierre-Benoit Joly (France)

Research Director at the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA), Director of the Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés (LISIS)

Science and Technology Studies, Sociology, Economy


Pierre-Benoit Joly, economist and sociologist, is Research Director at the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) in France. He has been the Director of the IFRIS (French Institute for Studies of Research and Innovation in Society) and of Labex (Laboratory of Excellence) SITES from 2011 to 2014 and he is now the director of LISIS (Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés). His research is focused on the study of co-production of knowledge and social order. Drawing on a number of empirical studies on the interactions between science, democracy and the market, the aim is to analyze the contemporary transformations of scientific public space and new modes of governance of innovation and risk.P.B.Joly coordinated -or participated in several- European research projects in these areas. He has published six books, coordinated four special issues of journals and published more than 110articles or book chapters.He lectures at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales(EHESS).

He has been the President of the Scientific Council of the GIS « Risques Collectifs et Situations de Crise » (2001-2004), member of the expert group « Science and governance » de la Commission Européenne (2005-2007) and of the working group of the European Science Foundation « Science in Society » (2012-2013). He is currently member of the board of the European Association for the Studies of Science and Technology (EASST), of the SH2 panel of du European Research Council (ERC), of the Comité de Prévention et de Précaution (ministère de l’écologie), of the Scientific Council of the French Safety Agency (ANSES), of the Ethical Committee of IRSTEA and IFSTTAR, and he is the President of the Scientific Council of the Programme RiskOGM (ministère de l’écologie) and co-President of Alliance Sciences Sociétés (ALLISS).

He participates in the editorial boards of Minerva and Natures-Sciences-Sociétés. He is member of the Board of the European Association for the Studies of Science and Technology (EASST) and of the Science and Democracy Network (SDN).

He is a member of the French Academy of Agriculture and is the co-author of a 2013 ESF report on Science-Society that received the Ziman Price of the European Association for the Studies of Science and Technology (EASST).

Pierre-Benoit Joly holds a degree of agricultural engineer (ESAP, Toulouse 1982), a PhD in economics (Université de Toulouse, 1987) and the Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches (Université de Grenoble, 1995).

Jean Jouzel (France)

Climatologist, Emeritus Research Director at CEA Saclay

Climate Research


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Muhammadou Kah (Gambia / Azerbaijan)

Vice Rector For Technologies & Innovation & Founding Dean, School of IT & Engineering (SITE) at Baku, Azerbaijan

Computer Sciences, Information Technology


Prof. Muhammadou M.O. Kah just completed a six-year term as the Third Vice Chancellor/President of The University of The Gambia (UTG) (2009-2015), where he also held the position of Professor of Information Technology & Communications and Overseer of the Teachers College. He was the 1st Gambian born to lead the University. In his 20-plus years in higher education, Kah has held teaching and leadership positions in the U.S. and abroad. His first full-time academic position was as director of institutional research and strategic planning at Bloomfield College, New Jersey. He would go on to cement his career in academia at Howard, George Washington, Rutgers Universities. In addition, he also served internationally at the American University of Sharjah(AUS) as Department Chairman, American University of Nigeria(AUN) and ADA University(ADA), Baku, Azerbaijan, developing and teaching courses in information technology, computer science and information systems.

Prior to becoming UTG’s President (Vice Chancellor) in 2009, Prof. Kah spent 4 years in Nigeria as the Founding Dean of the School of Information Technology and Communications at the American University of Nigeria (AUN) where he doubled for a year as Interim Dean of the School of Business & Entrepreneurship. While at AUN, He founded African Center for ICT Innovations and Training, also doubled at Interim CIO and served as a Board of Trustee member.

Prof. Kah was also engaged by ADA University in Baku, Azerbaijan (2015-2017) as the Vice Rector for Technology & Innovations and The Founding Dean of the School of Information Technology & Engineering, immediately after successfully completing his tenure as The University of The Gambia’s Vice Chancellor/President. He was recently named as Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost & Professor of Information Technology & Computing at The American University of Nigeria. Muhammadou was honored to be a regular contributor of the Africa Module in the Advance Leadership (ALP) Program of the Cambridge Judge Business School and was appointed an honorary Fellow in 2016-2017 of the Judge Business School and the Digital Innovation Center, University of Cambridge.

He is passionate about advancing the human condition by strengthening computing, engineering, science, innovation and IT education and Higher Education. He serves in many Boards in the Banking (Zenith Bank-The Gambia) and Higher Education Sectors in The Gambia and Nigeria. He also serves as a member of the Malabo Montpellier Panel and the EuroScience Forum 2018, amongst others.

Prof. Kah completed his BS, MS. and Ph.D. at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ, one of the top Engineering and Technology Management universities in the USA. Prof. Kah also holds a Masters of Science in Finance (Financial Engineering) from The George Washington University, Washington, DC. In addition, he completed the Advance Leadership (ALP) Program of the Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and a Postgraduate Diploma (DipSI) in Strategy and Innovation from the Said Business School, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Franco Ongaro (Netherlands)

Director Technology, Engineering and Quality at the European Space Agency/ESTEC

Space, Engineering and Education 


Dr Franco Ongaro took up duty as Director of Technical and Quality Management (D/TEC), and Head of ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, on 1 April 2011.

Franco Ongaro graduated as a Doctor of Aeronautical Engineering from the University Politecnico of Milan. In 1987 he joined ESA, working at ESA HQ in Paris on the Columbus project. In 1988, he moved to ESTEC in the Netherlands as Head of the Columbus Payload Interfaces Unit. He was shortlisted as candidate in the European astronaut selection of 1991.

In 1994, Franco Ongaro moved back to HQ, to join the ESA Strategy Directorate as General Studies Programme Manager. In 2001, he initiated and managed the start of the Aurora exploration programme until 2005, when he became head of the ESA Advanced Concepts and Technology Planning Department, issuing the first ESA Technology Long Term Plan and creating the Advanced Concepts Team.

From 2007, he led the preparation and implementation of the Iris programme to develop a 'satcom' component for air traffic management. In 2009 he became Head of the Telecom Technologies, Products and Systems Department in the Telecommunications and Integrated Applications Directorate at ESTEC. From 1994 until 2009, he taught a one-semester graduate course in spacecraft design at the University Politecnico of Milan.

Ismael Ràfols (Spain)

Research Fellow at Ingenio (CSIC-UPV), Universitat Politècnica de València

Policy Analysis Scientometrics


Dr Ismael Rafols is a science policy analyst trying to develop more plural S&T indicators and appraisal methodologies for informing evaluation, funding and research strategies. Ismael received a PhD in biophysics from Tohoku University (Sendai, Japan) and was a postdoctoral researcher in nanobiotechnology at Cornell University (US). He has worked in SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit) at Sussex University (UK) and at the School of Public Policy of Georgia Tech (US). Currently, he is developing research portfolios methods so as to facilitate deliberation on research prioritisation for grand challenges such as bird flu or obesity. He is also exploring inclusive metrics, trying to understand and correct for indicator biases and their effects on policies, for example regarding local knowledge.

Judit Sándor (Hungary)

Full professor at the Central European University (CEU) of Budapest, Director of CELAB



Judit Sándor is a full professor at the Faculty of Political Science, Legal Studies and Gender Studies of the Central European University (CEU), Budapest, Hungary. She participated in many national and international law and policy making activities in the field of biomedical law and bioethics. In 2004-2005 she served as the Chief of the Bioethics Section at the UNESCO. She published ( written and edited) eleven books in the field of human rights and biomedical law.  Since 2005 she is a founding director of the Center for Ethics and Law in Biomedicine (CELAB) at the Central European University.

Archana Singh-Manoux (France)

Research Professor, Head of research team on “Ageing”, Co-PI Whitehall II Study at Inserm, UCL

Epidemiology, Public Health, Ageing, Cognitive Function, Dementia


Archana Singh-Manoux is Research Professor at Inserm, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research and an Honorary Professor of Epidemiology at University College London where is Co-PI of the Whitehall II Study. Her research focuses on the determinants of cognitive decline and dementia. A second aspect of her work is on the social determinants of health, particularly at older ages in order to understand the mechanisms underlying inequalities in health.

Vaughan C Turekian (USA)

Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary, U.S. Department of State, before Chief International Officer AAAS

Science Policy, Science Diplomacy


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