ESOF2020 Steering Committee

The ESOF 2020 programme is carefully selected by leading individuals in science teaching and research, business and innovation, and communication. 
The Steering Committee oversees the overall preparations for ESOF 2020. They are responsible for making strategic decisions about the conference as well as managing and monitoring the event.

Stefano Fantoni

ESOF2020 Champion
Chair of the Steering Committee


Stefano Fantoni is a renowed physicist and nuclear astrophysicist. In July 2007 he was awarded The Feenberg Medal for his contribution to Nuclear Physics and for the development of the Fermi Hyper Netted Chain Theory. A passionate advocate for the need for greater dialogue between science and society, and founder of the first Italian Master in Science Communication at SISSA (Trieste, Italy), he has been engaged in several outreach and research activities in this field, receiving the Kalinga prize from UNESCO in 2001. Other prizes: Piazzano prize in 2002, 2004 Pirelli International Prize, 2005 Capo d’Orlando Prize, Award 2008, Silver Rose Award 2010 Barcola city of Trieste. He was the Director of SISSA from 2004 to 2010, President of the National Agency for the evaluation of the Universities and the Research Institutes (ANVUR) from 2011 to 2016 and President of FIT from 2008 to 2011 and from 2016 to now.

Noble Banadda

Professor and Chair of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering,
Makerere University, Kampala - Uganda


Noble Banadda is a professor and the Chair of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Makerere University (Uganda). Noble holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering (2006) of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). In 2007, Noble won the Cochran Fellowship to do postdoctoral studies in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). In August 2012, Noble was appointed a full professor at the age of 37 years. He is the youngest fellow of Uganda National Academy of Sciences and the President of the Uganda National Young Academy. In September 2014, Noble was honoured young Scientist at the Annual meeting of New Champions, World Economic Forum, Tianjin, Peoples’ Republic of China. Since 2017, Noble is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA as well as being a member of the Malabo Montpellier Panel of International Experts. Noble is ranked among the top 60 researchers in the world in the research domain of waste management.

Anne Cambon-Thomsen

Emeritus Research Director at CNRS, Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées (France)
ESOF2018 Toulouse Champion


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 she was the ESOF 2018 Champion.


Professor of science, culture and society at the Royal Institution


Professor Gail Cardew is Chair of Science, Culture and Society at the Royal Institution in London, where she is responsible for the strategic development of the organisation’s charitable activities. She is Vice President of EuroScience and has been involved with ESOF from the very beginning, either on the Steering Committee or Programme Committee. She also sits on various other scientific boards and committees throughout Europe and beyond.


President of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN)


Full Professor of Physics at the Sapienza University of Rome and President of the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) since 2011. Member of the Governing Board of Science Europe. He has focused his scientific studies on experimental particle physics, starting his research at CERN Laboratory where he investigated the nucleon structure functions from neutrino scattering and participated at the L3 experiment at the LEP accelerator. In the early nineties he joined the BABAR collaboration as a visiting scientist at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre (SLAC). Inside the collaboration he covered relevant responsibility roles such as executive board member, technical board member, physics coordinator and system manager of the muon detector. Since 2004 he is exploring the neutrinoless double beta decay with an experiment at the Gran Sasso Laboratories called CUORE and with an innovative project (Lucifer) on the same subject. He is the author of several hundred articles in scientific journals, he has served as member in numerous international scientific boards and chaired many committees in the field of high energy physics.


Founder & CEO, SciCom – Making Sense of Science


Aidan Gilligan (Irish) is Founder and CEO of SciCom, a Brussels-based science diplomacy agency with Associates in Cape Town, Copenhagen, Geneva, London and Paris, striving to make greater sense of science-policy-making for public, private and cause-related groups.

An EU affairs and legal expert, Aidan spent four years as Director of Communications at the College of Europe and ten years at the heart of the European Union’s in-house science services. He was also seconded to the Office of the Irish Chief Science Adviser.

Aidan is an elected member of the EuroScience Governing Board 2015 – 2018 and has been an active member of the International Media & Marketing Committees for the Dublin, Copenhagen, Manchester and Toulouse ESOFs, Vice-Chairing the past two.

Current science diplomacy roles include, amongst others, International Adviser to the Japan Science & Technology Agency (JST); Co-creator and Adviser to the Science Forum South Africa (SFSA); International Adviser to the Latin American & Caribbean Open Forum (CILAC); International Media Partner for The World Science Forum 2015 Budapest & 2017 Jordan; Regional Contributor, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Regional Assessment for Europe; and a Planning Group Member of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA).


Secretary-General of EuroScience


Following studies in chemistry at Philipps University of Marburg (Germany), Mr Matthias Girod began his career as a researcher at the BAM – the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing in Berlin. He then moved to Trieste (Italy) where he worked as Project Officer for the Central European Research Infrastructure Consortium (CERIC). Mr Matthias Girod has been appointed by the EuroScience Governing Board to succeed Dr Peter Tindemans as EuroScience Secretary General on May 2nd 2019.


Professor of Nanomaterials at the Department of Materials in the University of Oxford - UK


Nicole Grobert's research group focuses on the synthesis, processing, and characterization of novel carbon and non-carbon based nanomaterials, including nanoparticles, nanotubes, nanorods, graphene and other 2D nanomaterials. Moreover, multifunctional hierarchical nanostructures are also developed and investigated for their implementation in the health-care sectors and for their use in energy applications.

Professor Grobert is a Royal Society Industry Fellow at Williams Advanced Engineering, a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford and a visiting professor at the Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre at Toyo University, Japan.

Nicole Grobert is a vocal defender of best practices and efficient leadership, experience obtained over almost 20 years as a frontline researcher and representative of young researchers in Europe, having previously been the Chair of the Young Academy of Europe and a founder member. She has been awarded three Royal Society Research Fellowships and she has also held four ERC Grants. Moreover, she has been selected as an outstanding young scientist by the Royal Society in 2005, the STS Forum in 2008, and the World Economic Forum in 2013.


President of the Italian National Research Council


Born in 1950 in Lecce, he graduated and obtained a PhD in Physics at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, where he was Assistant Professor, Associated Professor and Full Professor. He has been Full Professor of Matter Physics since 1986 at the University Federico II of Naples and since 1991 at the School of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences of the University of Florence.

Influential representative of the international scientific community and co-founder of the European Laboratory for Non Linear Spectroscopy (LENS) in Florence, which he lead from 1998 to 2004, Prof. Inguscio is a member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.


Executive Director of the CERIC (Central European Research Infrastructure Consortium)
Member of the ERA Council Forum Austria


Jana Kolar has a broad range of expertise, ranging from policy development and implementation, research and innovation to entrepreneurship. Among others, she had been Director General of Science in Technology at the Ministry in Slovenia, chairman of the board of Slovenian Technology Agency and member of the board of Slovenian Research Agency. She is currently member of the board of the European Institute of Technology and Innovation (EIT), member of the ERA Council Forum Austria, a high-level expert body advising the Austrian Minister responsible for Science and Research, and member of Horizon 2020 advisory group on Innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises.

She has authored/co-authored several expert reports contracted by the European Commission.

Trained as a chemist, she has published more than 60 peer reviewed papers and a European patent. In 2004, Dr. Kolar established a company which develops market products and services for characterization of materials, mainly in the field of cultural heritage.


European Research Council (ERC) Vice-President


Éva Kondorosi was born in Budapest, graduated (Biology) and received her PhD (Genetics) at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. Éva Kondorosi was the founding director of the BAYGEN Institute (2007-2012) which is now part of the Biological Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Szeged where she directs the Symbiosis and Functional Genomics Unit. She has also been a founding member of the Institut des Sciences Végétales CNRS in Gif-sur-Yvette, France as one of the first research directors and group leaders. She is Full Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), and member of the following institutions or bodies: Academia Europaea (also member of its Board of Trustees), the European Molecular Biology Organization, the Board of Directors of the International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (until 2016), the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the French Academy of Agriculture and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (2013-).


Retired from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, currently at the LUISS University in Rome


Fiorella Kostoris is a Full Professor of Economics, retired from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. She is currently at the LUISS University in Rome. In the past she has also taught in various countries, including at the College of Europe of Bruges, at the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques in Paris and at the Columbia University in N.Y. She has been Visiting Scholar in various academic institutions, including MIT and CORE (Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve), and Fellow at Nuffield College (Oxford).

She has also been serving various European and Italian public institutions, outside academia. Among others, she has been President for 10 years of a Research Institute (ISAE) working for the Italian Government and Parliament in public finance and economic policy. She is currently serving in the Board of Directors of the third largest bank in Italy and the oldest in the world, Monte dei Paschi di Siena.

She has extensively published in various languages (including Chinese) on topics concerning: Macroeconomics, Labour, Public Finance, European Economic Policy, Social Mobility, Poverty, Education, Gender Equality, Regional Economics, Cultural Heritage, Mutual Recognition.


Group Executive Vice President, Business Development, Grundfos Holding A/S


Ernst Lutz studied Mechanical Engineering at ETH Zurich, Switzerland and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg VA, USA, where he received his PhD. In addition he holds a master´s degree in Business Management. He has been working in the metals and mining industry for 16 years (alusuisse, Alcan, RioTinto), during which he has held various technology management positions globally. In 2011 he relocated from Shanghai to Winterthur to become corporate Chief Technology Officer of Sulzer. Since September 2015 Lutz has taken over new responsibilities as CEO of EIT Raw Materials, located in Berlin.


President EuroScience
Distinguished University Professor of chemical process engineering - University of Lorraine, Nancy, France


Professor Michael Matlosz was born in 1957 in Elizabeth (New Jersey, USA). He 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 chemical process engineering at the National School for Advanced Study of the Chemical Industries (ENSIC), the chemical engineering and applied chemistry faculty of the University of Lorraine in Nancy (France).

A specialist in the application of microtechnologies for industrial performance enhancement and sustainable development, he initiated and directed from 2005 to 2009, with support from the 6th European Research Framework Programme, a major public-private partnership collaboration, IMPULSE, dedicated to innovation in the chemical process industries.

Professor Matlosz was Director of ENSIC-Nancy from 2006 to 2011, Head of the Department of Exploratory and Emerging Research of the French National Research Agency (ANR) in Paris from 2011 to 2014, and President and Chief Executive Officer of ANR from 2014 to 2017. An elected member of the National Academy of Technologies of France since 2011, Professor Matlosz was also President of Science Europe, the Brussels-based advocacy association for European research performing and research funding organisations, from 2015 to 2017.

Currently a distinguished professor of chemical engineering at the University of Lorraine, Professor Matlosz was elected President of EuroScience in 2018 for a four-year term.


Director of the Estonian Genome Center, Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu - Estonia


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. Metspalu is the past (2006) President of the European Society of Human 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 (Lithuania).


Director-General and Professor of the Institute of Policy and Management (IPM), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)


Mu Rongping, received his B.S. and M.S. from University of Science and Technology of China, Ph.D from Technische Universität Berlin, Germany. Mu is Professor of CAS Institute of Science and Development (formal CAS Institute of Policy and Management, CASIPM), Director of CAS Center for Innovation and Development, editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Science Research Management, President of the China High-tech Industry Promotion Society and the Chinese Association for Science of Science and S&T Policy Research. He was Director-General of CASIPM (2004-2014). Mu has published more than 40 papers in peer-reviewed journals and several books concerning Technology Transfer, Technology Foresight, and Innovation Development, and Industrial Competitiveness.


Executive Director of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) – for the advancement of science in developing countries


Romain Murenzi serves as the Executive Director of TWAS, The World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in developing countries, based in Trieste, Italy. He also oversees the administration of OWSD, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World with over 6,000 members; of IAP, the InterAcademy Partnership, a global network of some 130 academies of science and medicine; and of GenderInSITE (GIS), international initiative to promote the role of women in science, innovation, technology and engineering.

Murenzi initially joined TWAS in April 2011 for five years. He then spent 14 months at UNESCO, Paris, directing the Division of Science Policy and Capacity Building in the Natural Sciences sector. On 1 September 2017 he was transferred back to TWAS. Before that he served as Rwanda's Minister of Education, S&T and Scientific Research (2001-2006), and as Minister in the President's Office in Charge of S&T, and Scientific Research, with responsibilities including ICT (March 2006 - July 2009). Murenzi was born in Rwanda in 1959 and raised in Burundi: BSc from National University of Burundi in 1982, MSc (1986) and PhD from Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium (1990). He currently serves as member of the External Science and Technology Advisory Board of the International Monetary Fund.


President of the Area Science Park, Trieste


Sergio Paoletti graduated cum laude in Chemistry at the University of Trieste in 1972. He was appointed Full Professor of Biochemistry at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Sassari in 1994 and from 1995 at that of Trieste. He was a member of the Board (2006-2009), Vice-Rector (September 2009- May 2013) and acted as Rector of the University of Trieste (May-July 2013).

He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Italian University Consortium for Biotechnology, CIB. He has been dean of the BSc in Biotechnology and MSc in Medical Biotechnology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Trieste.

He has been an expert of the EU Commission (Algal Polysaccharides). He has been a member of the Scientific Council of PortoConte Ricerche SCRL (Sassari) and of the Consortium for Molecular Biomedicine (CBM), Trieste. He has been the director of the Life Learning Center in Trieste, LLC, advanced teaching laboratory in the field of life sciences.

He has been general secretary of the International Council of Human Duties (Chairman: Prof. Rita Levi Montalcini).


Full Professor of Mathematics - University of Trieste
President of OGS: National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics – Italy

Full Professor of Algebra at the University of Trieste, Italy, Maria Cristina Pedicchio has great experience in managing of public and private research institutions.


She is President of the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (from 2011) a research institution of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research. She was (2004-2012) President of the Cluster in Biomedicine (CBM), a public-private institution that manages the Technology District in Molecular Biomedicine and President (2002-2006) of the AREA Science Park of Trieste, the leading Science and Technology Park in Italy.  She had and still has several collaborations within the European Commission (Member of the Strategic Forum for International S&T Cooperation, member of ERAB - European Research Area Board).

Main sectors of interest:  research and innovation policy, international cooperation, training, international mobility, science diplomacy and public private-partnerships.  Commander, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.


Director/owner EUROPOLARIS
former Vice President Public R&D Programs of Philips Research


Educated as a physicist at Leiden University, Jan van den Biesen joint Philips in 1983 to work on semiconductor research. Three years later, he was seconded for one year to Hitachi’s Central Research Laboratory in Tokyo.

From 1990 to 1992 he was responsible for liaising with Dutch public authorities on Philips’ participation in national R&D programs. In that period, he also complemented his education with a joint Executive MBA from University of Rochester, NY, and Erasmus University Rotterdam. As of 1997 he coordinated Philips’ participation in publicly funded programs for collaborative R&D.  A Vice President of Philips Research since 2000, he became Head of Public R&D Programs in 2007.

From April 2008 to February 2012 he was advising the European Commission as a member of the European Research Area Board (ERAB), and from May 2016 to January 2018 as a member of the Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP). He is a member of the Governing Board of the ECSEL Joint Undertaking. After his retirement from Philips he established himself in May 2017 as an independent adviser under the business name EUROPOLARIS – European Policy Advice and Research & Innovation Strategies.


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.