Prof. Helga Nowotny appointed as new President of the European Research Council

the ERC Scientific Council unanimously elected Prof. Helga Nowotny, an eminent Austrian social scientist, as the new ERC President and chair of the Scientific Council. Prof. Nowotny is currently the ERC’s vice-President and vice-chair of its Scientific Council. She will take office on March 1st, 2010.

The election followed the resignation of the first ERC President, Prof. Fotis C. Kafatos, announced in January, after three years of intensive and highly respected leadership of the ERC. Prof. Kafatos remains member of the Scientific Council and has been proposed, and unanimously voted, as ERC Honorary President.

Prof. Helga Nowotny was vice-president of the ERC Scientific Council until now. She is Professor emeritus of Social Studies of Science, ETH Zurich, and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Vienna University. At the moment of the appointment, she commented “I thank my colleagues from the ERC Scientific Council for their trust and I will pursue with vigour and endurance our common endeavour to make frontier research the dynamic element in confronting the challenges ahead”.

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Mrs Máire Geoghegan- uinn, commented on the appointment: ‘My congratulations and best wishes to Prof. Helga Nowotny and to the ERC. I am confident that Prof Nowotny will lead with ambition this truly pioneering European project. She is a fantastic role model for young women considering a science career. We need more like her” .

José Manuel Silva Rodriguez, Director General for Research at the European Commission, remarked “I congratulate Helga for her election and I am confident that we will have an excellent cooperation with the ERC to make the best of research in Europe”.

Jack Metthey, Director of the ERC Executive Agency, said “The unanimous election of Prof. Nowotny is the obvious recognition of Helga’s tireless work and commitment, whilst a vice-chair, in making the ERC a success. My colleagues and I at the Executive Agency look forward with enthusiasm to continuing working with her in her new role.”

To read the full press release (PDF), please click here

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