Steering Committee

ESOF 2018 Steering Committee members

The Steering Committee supervises the overall preparations for the ESOF conference. The ESOF champion is head of the Steering Committee.

Anne Cambon-Thomsen (France)

Emeritus Research Director at CNRS, Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, ESOF 2018 Champion

Biology, Bioethics, Medicine, Genetics, Public Health


Anne Cambon-Thomsen, MD, immunogeneticist, specialised in human biology and health ethics, is Emeritus Research Director at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in a joint Unit on epidemiology and public health of the National Institute of health and medical research (Inserm)  and University of Toulouse, France.  She worked on human genetic variation in populations and diseases, transplantation immunogenetics, then societal and policy aspects of genomics and biotechnologies. She entered Inserm in 1976, completed a post-doctorate in Denmark 81-82 and became research director at CNRS in 88. She directed two research units (85-97) in Toulouse, then led an interdisciplinary team on societal aspects of biotechnology for health and a platform of societal dialogue (1998-2016).  With experience in national and European ethics bodies and projects on ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of research, she co-directed the Common Service ELSI of BBMRI-ERIC, the European infrastructure on biobanking and biomolecular resources 2015-17. She is member of the European Group on Ethics of Science and New Technologies (EGE) and the ESOF 2018 Champion.

Peter Tindemans (Netherlands)

Secretary General and resp. Director of EuroScience,
co-chair of the ESOF 2018 Steering Committee

STI Policies, Theoretical Physics (PhD Leiden University)


Peter Tindemans is well-known for his contributions to science, technology and innovation policy in the Netherlands, Europe and globally. He was responsible for Dutch research and science policy from 1991-1999; chaired the establishment of the pan-European Research and Education Networking infrastructure from 1986 till 1991 and the OECD MegaScience Forum from 1992-1999. As an independent consultant since 1999, he keeps very engaged in developing European policies for science, technology and innovation in general, working with ministers and former EUROHORCS; in regional innovation efforts and in European policies for Research Infrastructures, e.g. as chairman of the European Neutron Spallation Source now built in Lund. He is working with the World Bank and UNESCO in Africa, Latin-America, the Middle-East and Asia. A founding member of EuroScience, he sat many years on its Governing Board. He convened the Science Policy Group and was as chair and member involved in ESOF Governance an Supervisory Committees. He is a director of the Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen.

Ousmane Badiane (Senegal)

Director for Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Agriculture, Food Policy


Dr Ousmane Badiane is the Africa Director for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). In this role, he oversees the institute’s two regional offices for West and Central Africa in Dakar and Eastern and Southern Africa in Addis Ababa. He coordinates IFPRI’s work program in the areas of food policy research, capacity strengthening, and policy communications in Africa. He is also in charge of IFPRI’s partnerships with African institutions dealing with the above areas.

As an Advisor to the NEPAD Secretariat from 2004 to 2007, he was instrumental in developing and guiding the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). Before his current tenure at IFPRI, Dr Badiane, a national of Senegal, was Lead Specialist for Food and Agricultural Policy for the Africa Region at the World Bank from January 1998 to August 2008. He previously worked at IFPRI as Senior Research Fellow from 1989 to 1997, when he led the institute's work on market reforms and development. While at IFPRI, he taught Economics of Development in Africa, as adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies from 1993 to 2003. Dr Badiane received a Master’s Degree and PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Kiel in Germany. His awards include a Doctoral Degree Honoris Causa from the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa and induction as Fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economics. Dr Badiane is the 2015 laureate of the Yara Prize for African Green Revolution.

Gail Cardew (UK)

Professor of Science, Culture and Society at the Royal Institution

Science and Culture, Informal Science Learning, Public Engagement with Science, Science and Media Communications


Professor Gail Cardew is Director of Science and Education at the Royal Institution, where she is responsible for the strategic development of the Royal Institution’s charitable activities. She has been involved with ESOF from the very beginning, either on the Steering Committee or Programme Committee. She also chairs the body that governs the strategic direction of ESOF and selects the host cities – the ESOF Supervisory Board. She holds various international posts in science, policy and education, including a Board Member of EuroScience.

Luke Georghiou (UK)

Vice-President for Research and Innovation at the University of Manchester

Technology Policy and Management


Luke Georghiou is Vice-President for Research and Innovation at the University of Manchester and Professor of Science and Technology Policy and Management in the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research at the Alliance Manchester Business School. Since 2010 he has been responsible for the University’s research strategy and its implementation, doctoral training, and for business engagement and commercialisation activities as well as general executive duties. He continues to be active in research and policy advice to governments and business with current work on innovation management, public procurement and innovation and evaluation of the national demonstrator project for Internet of Things (CityVerve). In 2011 he was elected to the Academia Europaea.

He is a member of RISE, the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation’s high-level policy advisory group.  He has chaired several international panels, including acting as rapporteur for the influential report to European leaders, Creating an Innovative Europe which put demand-side innovation policy onto the political agenda, and as Chairman of the High-level Expert Group on Rationales for the European Research Area which recommended a refocusing of European research and innovation support on a series of grand challenges. He was Co-Champion of the 2016 Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF), Europe’s largest pan-disciplinary science conference. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Manchester Science Partnerships, the UK’s largest science park company. Since 2016 he has chaired the Steering Committee of the European Universities Association Council for Doctoral Education. He is on the editorial board of eight journals and has published extensively in leading outlets including Science and Nature. He has supervised 40 doctoral candidates to successful completion.

Marion Guillou (France)

Chair of the Board of the French Institute of Agriculture, Food, Veterinary and Forestry Research and Higher Education (AGREENIUM)

Food Sciences


Marion Guillou, a food scientist and food safety specialist, has been CEO (2000-2004) and then Chairperson (2004-2012) of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA). She has chaired the Board of a prestigious engineer higher education School (Ecole polytechnique-Paris-Saclay 2003-2008). She launched the European Joint Programing Initiative on Agriculture, Food and Climate Change (JPI-FACCE) and chaired it during several years.

Joan Guinovart (Spain)

Director of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and Professor at the University of Barcelona

Glycogen Metabolism, Diabetes, Lafora Disease


Joan J. Guinovart is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Barcelona and Director of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). Dr Guinovart’s research focuses on glucose and glycogen metabolism, with special attention to the alterations in diabetes and Lafora disease. Dr Guinovart has served as President of the Spanish Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SEBBM) and the Confederation of Spanish Scientific Societies
(COSCE). He has also served as member of the Executive Committee of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS). He is the current President of the International Union of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (IUBMB). He is member
of the Spanish Royal Academy of Pharmacy and the Academia Europaea. He has been recognized with the FEBS Diplôme d’honneur and the St. George’s Cross of the Government of Catalonia, among other distinctions.

Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen (Denmark)

President of EuroScience, Executive Director of the Sino-Danish Center (SDC), High Level Advisor to the Senior Management Group at the Aarhus University

Biology, Environment


Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen is President of EuroScience, and Executive Director of the Sino-Danish Center (SDC), Beijing. He was the Rector of Aarhus University from 2005-2013, is High Level Advisor to the Senior Management Group at Aarhus University (AU), he is Chairman of the Danish National Fund for Nature, member of the Governing Board of Gothenburg University, Sweden, is member of the International Advisory Board for Campus Internacional, Santander, Spain, and for Universidad Autonoma de Nueva Leon, Monterrey, Mexico.

Throughout his career he has been member of and chaired numerous councils, boards and advisory bodies in higher education and research, and in his own academic field, biology and the environment. In addition he has been dedicated to international development. Lauritz Holm-Nielsen has worked 18 years abroad of which 12 years in Washington D.C. at the World Bank.

He was Vice President of the European University Association (EUA), Chairman of the Nordic University Association, Vice Chairman of Universities Denmark, Board Member of the Danish National Research Foundation, Chairman for the Nordic Academy for Advanced Study, Rector of the Danish Research Academy, Chairman of the Danish Natural Science Research Council and the Danish Council for Development Research.

Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen was member of the Danish Prime Minister's Growth Forum and member of the Africa Commission, Vice-Chairman of the Danish Research Commission, and member of several OECD expert review teams and other international review and advisory panels on higher education and research.

Honours: Commander of the Order of Dannebrog, Denmark; Gran Oficial del Orden Gabriela Mistral (Grand Officer), Chile; Received the World Bank's outstanding performance award 2000, 2001, 2002; Honorary member of Instituto Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales; Miembro Correspondiente de la Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana; fellow of the Danish Academy of Natural Sciences (DNA); Academy of Technical Sciences (ATV); member of the Society of Science and Letters, Aarhus, Denmark.

Raphaëla Kitson-Pantano (France)

Head of International Health Relations at AXA Global Life, Vice-President of EuroScience and Secretary General of Europ’Attitude

Health, Genetics


Holder of a PhD in Genetics from Edinburgh University and a Masters in European Politics from the College of Europe, Raphaëla Kitson-Pantano began her career as Director of the ESOF Headquarters in Strasbourg. Following the successful set up of the European Hub of ESOF, she joined the L’Oreal Foundation where she was in charge of Scientific Programmes including the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards. Raphaëla joined AXA in 2014 as the AXA Research Fund Life & Health Risks Research Officer and is now Head of International Health Relations at AXA Global Life. In her spare time she is a Science Communication Consultant, Vice-President of EuroScience, a member of the ESOF 2018 International Steering Committee and Secretary General of Europ’Attitude.

Teresa Lago (Portugal)

Full Professor (retired) at the University of Porto, International Astronomical Union General Secretary 2018-2021 (elected)

Astrophysics, Science Policy


Full Professor (retired) of Astronomy at the University of Porto. Graduated at the UP (1971), M.Sc. (1975) and Ph.D (1979) in Astronomy (University of Sussex). Responsible for setting-up at the UP: the 1st Astronomy Degree in the country (1983); European Inter-university Masters Degree (1994-98) involving 6 European universities; Astronomy Doctoral Program (2003-10).

Coordinating member of “European Astrophysics Doctoral Network” a network of 33 European Universities (1986-97). Author of the “National Plan for the Development of Astronomy” (1987), founder the Centre for de Astrophysics (UP, 1988) that she directed for 18 years. Created the Porto Planetarium (1996). Prepared the Association of Portugal to ESO (1989) and was National Delegate to the ESO Council until 2013. Chaired the national Scientific Council for “Earth & Space Sciences” (2004-05). Member Chair of various Advisory Boards, namely: Governing Board-School of Cosmic Physics-DIAS (1995-99); Council of the EAS (1996-99); European Commission (DGXII) (1996-99); ESA Space Science Committee (2000-03); Space Science & Astronomy (Finland Academy of Sciences 2003); Aalto University (2009); School of Physical Sciences, Dublin City University (2010-12); “Institute Universitaire de France” (2011-12); “Initiatives d’Excellence”, Agence National de la Recherche (2011); Humboldt Foundation (2011-13).

President of “Porto 2001-European Capital of Culture” (1999-2002). Elected Member of Parliament (2002, independent in Socialist Party) choose not to exercise the mandate. Member of the Porto Municipal Assembly & of the Metropolitan Assembly (2009-13). Founding member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (2005-13), Chair of ERC’s Gender Balance Working Group (2009-13).

Main interests: Astrophysics, Education & Research, Scientific Culture, Science Management & Science Policy.

Honours: “Henri Chrétien Award” (AAS, 1985), Associate (RAS, 1990), member of the Academiae Europeae
(1992), Medal of Merit (Ministry for Science & Technology, 2016).

Michael Matlosz (France)

Former President of Science Europe

Chemical Engineering


Born in 1957 in Elizabeth (New Jersey, USA), Professor Matlosz holds a BS degree in chemical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a PhD in electrochemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

He began his professional research career in 1985 in the department of materials science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne (Switzerland), prior to appointment in 1993 as university professor of process engineering at the National School for Advanced Study of the Chemical Industries (ENSIC), the chemical engineering faculty of the University of Lorraine in Nancy (France).

A member of the National Academy of Technologies of France, Professor Matlosz has been President and CEO of the ANR (2014-2017) abd President of Science Europe (2015-2017).

Eric M. Meslin (Canada)

President and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies

Philosophy, Bioethics, Research Policy


Eric M. Meslin is President and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies. He joined the Council in February 2016, bringing with him more than 25 years of experience in science policy in both university and government settings.

Dr Meslin came to the Council from Indiana University (IU), where he was Founding Director of the Indiana University Center for Bioethics for 15 years, Associate Dean for Bioethics in the IU School of Medicine and Professor of Medicine, of Medical & Molecular Genetics, of Bioethics and Law, of Public Health, and of Philosophy. In 2012 Dr Meslin was appointed IU’s first endowed Professor of Bioethics.  He has also held academic positions at the University of Toronto, University of Oxford, as Professor-at-Large at the University of Western Australia, and as the Pierre de Fermat Chaire d’Excellence at the Université de Toulouse. He is currently Visiting Scholar in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, and at the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University.

Prior to Indiana, he was Bioethics Research Director of the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) program at the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute, and then Executive Director of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission appointed by the President Bill Clinton.

Born in Canada, Dr Meslin received his BA from York University and his MA and PhD from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. both in philosophy/bioethics. Dr Meslin has more than 150 published articles and book chapters on various topics in bioethics and science policy. He has been an advisor to domestic and international organisations including the World Health Organization and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and sat on committees of the Institute of Medicine (now National Academy of Medicine), the National Institutes of Health, and the Board of Directors of Genome Canada. In 2015 he was appointed Vice-Chair of the UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council.

Among his honours, Dr Meslin is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and a Chevalier de L’Order Nationale du Mérite (Knight of the National Order of Merit) for contributions to French bioethics policy.

Marc Pircher (France)

Director of the Toulouse Space Center (CNES)

Aerospace Engineering


Dr Marc Pircher is graduated from Stanford University (USA) and ISAE (Sup’Aero), a national french Engineer High School. He has run his whole career in the space domain.

In 1980 he started in the domain of adaptive filter for automatic failure detection. Then, he went in charge of the attitude and orbit control subsystem of SPOT1 (first French remote sensing satellite) at CNES Toulouse. Early 90s, he became Project Manager for the first French Defence remote sensing satellite HELIOS.

Late 90s he was appointed Head of Department in charge of orbital projects. He promoted and developed new series of small and mini satellites in the French lines of products with industries which became a commercial and institutional success.

In 2003 he was in charge of the CNES Launcher Directorate ; during this period Ariane5 launched Rosetta.

In 2004 he went to ALCATEL SPACE as chief technical officer during the merge of Alcatel and Alenia space activities to the new Thales Alenia Space.

Since late 2007 to end 2016  Marc Pircher was the Head of the CNES Toulouse Space Centre in charge of the deployment of all the french space technical roadmaps and orbital projects.

He is member of the French “Academie des Technologies” and correspondent of the “Academie de l’Air et de l’Espace”.

Carl Johan Sundberg (Sweden)

Scientist, Coordinator Science & Society at the President’s Office at the Karolinska Institute, initiator of ESOF and the ESOF 2004 Champion in Stockholm

Human Physiology, Molecular Exercise Science, Innovation Science


Carl Johan Sundberg is a licensed physician and professor at the Dpt of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, where his research is focused on the relations between physical activity and genetics, genomics and epigenetics in humans. He is head of research at the Unit for Bioentrepreneurship where research and education within innovation, management, entrepreneurship and intellectual property is conducted.

In 2005, he received a Certificate of Commendation for Communication in the Life Sciences from European Molecular Biology Organisation and the European Commission's Descartes Communication Prize for Excellence in Science Communication. Carl Johan was for a decade the vice-president of EuroScience and the initiator of Euroscience Open Forum.

Carl Johan is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. He has served as member or chairman of numerous boards, e.g. member of the International Olympic Committee´s Medical Commission, Inspektor (guardian) for the Medical Student’s association), chair of Research!Sweden – an independent advocacy foundation for medical research and as industry board director for several biotech companies.

André Syrota (France)

Professor emeritus at the University of Paris South, Chairman of the Cancer Institute of Toulouse, Special advisor to the Administrator General of the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)

Nuclear Medicine and Biophysics


André Syrota is Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris Sud, Special Advisor to the Administrator General of the CEA, President of the University Institute of Cancer of Toulouse, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ksilink in Strasbourg, the CEPH in Paris and the Cermep in Lyon. He spent a large part of his career in the Frédéric-Joliot hospital department of the CEA in Orsay in the field of imaging using positron emission tomography and then nuclear magnetic resonance. He was Director of Life Sciences at the CEA and then President and CEO of Inserm and led the creation of the Aviesan Alliance in 2009. He is a member of the Academy of Technologies.

Ingrid Wünning Tschol (Germany)

Senior Vice-President Strategy of the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH



Dr Ingrid Wünning Tschol is the Senior Vice-President Strategy of the Robert Bosch Foundation, Stuttgart, Germany. 1985 PhD Biology, University Tübingen Germany. 1985 -1990, postdoctoral research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and State University of New York in Stony Brook, USA. Further stations in her career were: Head of Molecular Biology, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft in Bonn/Germany, Head of Medical Section, European Science Foundation in Strasbourg/France. She is or was member of numerous national and international committees, amongst them as Vice Chair of the European Research Area Board (ERAB), advising the European Commissioner for Research from 2008 to 2011. More recent committee activities include membership in the Advisory Board, Max-Planck Institute, Magdeburg, ESOF Supervisory Board, Board of Trustees, Falling Walls Conference, the Universitätsrat Ulm or Advisory Board, Uppsala Health Summit.

Milena Žic Fuchs (Croatia)

Full Professor at the University of Zagreb

Humanities, Cognitive Linguistics, Linguistics


Milena Žic Fuchs was born in 1954 in Zagreb, Croatia. From 1958 to 1969 lived and attended schools in London, New York, and Sydney. In 1977 graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb in English language and literature and Ethnology. From 1984 to 1985 was Fulbright doctoral scholar at the Linguistics Department, UCLA. In 1989 received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Linguistics at the University of Zagreb. At present holds position of Full Professor at the University of Zagreb. In 2010 elected Fellow of the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2013 member of Academia Europaea.

She served as the Croatian Minister of Science and Technology from 1999 to 2000. From 2009 to 2012 she was Chair of the Standing Committee for the Humanities of the European Science Foundation. During her mandate she instigated policy incentives for Multidisciplinary Research and Digital Humanities. From 2012 to 2013 was member of the EC Expert Group for ESFRI Roadmap. She is at present member of numerous Science Advisory Boards at European level in the domains of Research Infrastructures and SSH. From 2008 was member of the ERC Advanced Grant Panel SH4 “The Human Mind and Its Complexity” and chaired the Panel from 2014 to 2015. From November 2016 Member of the High Level Group on maximising the impact of EU Research and Innovation programmes.