10.11.2012 - UNESCO Office in Venice

UNESCO Bureau in Venice welcomes on board new members of its Scientific Council

© UNESCO/A. Ajoux, Palazzo Zorzi

On 5 November 2012, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), hosted at its premises in Palazzo Zorzi the 12th Ordinary Session of its Scientific Council, one of the two governing bodies charged with providing strategic guidance to the Office under an agreement with its host country of Italy. The meeting successfully brought together a majority of members of the Scientific Council, all of whom were participating for the first time following their nomination in September. The members - selected upon their expertise particularly in the fields of natural sciences and culture - serve in their personal capacity to the Council throughout a two-year term.

For the 2012-2013 biennium, four members of the Scientific Council of the UNESCO Venice Office come with a background in science, four have a background in culture, and one member has experience in both science and culture.  Members hail from all corners of Europe, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, the Netherlands, Serbia, Turkey and the United Kingdom of Great Britain.  There are four women and five men on the current Council.

Biserka Cvjetičanin is a Croatian senior scientific researcher at the Institute for International Relations and a founding director of the Culturelink Network of Networks for Research and Cooperation in Cultural Development.

Dragan Domazet is Professor, Rector and founder of Belgrade Metropolitan University and former Minister for Science, Technology and Development in the Government of Serbia.

Ahmet Eyüce is the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture Bahçeşehir University (Turkey) and winner of the ‘National Architecture Award’ with ‘İzmir Akvaryum Project’ prepared for İzmir Metropolitan Municipality.

Valeria Fol is a Professor in the Institute for Balkan Studies with Center of Thracology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS).

Gianni Francesco Mattioli is a senior professor of Energetics and Sustainability at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, a former member of the Italian Parliament and of the Italian Government (Under-Secretary of State for Public Works and Secretary of State for EU Politics).

Danielle Mazzonis is a member of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO, an adjunct professor at the IULM and a senior consultant on Latin America local development for IADB and OECD.

Federica Olivares is a university professor and the Cultural Counselor to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for supporting the Minister in the strategy for cultural diplomacy activities.

Huub Rijnaarts Professor of Environment and Water Technology, Dept. of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences of the Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Semir Zeki is a British Professor of Neuroesthetics at the University College London (UCL), a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Foreign Member of the American Philosophical Society.

The elected chair of this first session, Danielle Mazzonis, noted in her closing remarks that the Scientific Council is off to a good start and the Council affirmed its readiness to help the Office fine-tune its strategy for addressing the challenges in the region, taking into consideration the current financial constraints that UNESCO finds itself in.

Yolanda Valle-Neff, Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), is confident about the future of the Office. “The membership of our new Council brings together some of the brightest minds in science and culture in Europe.  With their support and guidance, I am confident that UNESCO will be able to continue to respond to the evolving needs of the Members States under our mandate, fostering increased regional cooperation and sustainable development of its natural and cultural resources.”

The Scientific Council’s recommendation to approve the 2012 and 2013 programmes of work will be passed on to the Office’s other governing body, its Steering Committee, which provides oversight on the Office programme and budget, before submitting its recommendations to the Director General of UNESCO for final approval. The next Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for 18 December 2012.

Meet the new members of the Scientific Council.


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