Keynote speech

Opening session, Friday 24 October 2014

Prof. Mariano Gago, former Minister of Portugal, in charge of Science and Technology, Information Society and Higher Education: How should ministries of education take up STEM challenge

Professor José Mariano Gago is an experimental high energy physicist and a Professor of Physics at the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Lisbon, Portugal. He graduated as an electrical engineer from the Technical University of Lisbon and obtained a PhD in Physics from the École Polytechnique in Paris. He worked for many years as a researcher at the European Organisation for Nuclear Physics (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland and in Portugal's Laboratory for Particle Physics (LIP), which he chaired. Prof. Gago is a member of the CERN Council. He chaired the High Level Group on Human Resources for Science and Technology in Europe.

As Minister of Science and Technology (S&T) from 1995 to 2002, Prof. Gago was responsible for science and technology and for information society policies. He launched the Ciencia Viva movement to promote S&T culture and S&T in society. During the Portuguese EU presidency (2000) he prepared, along with the European Commission, the Lisbon Strategy for the European Research Area and for the Information Society in Europe. In 1998 he also launched the Eureka-Asia Initiative in Macao. During the 2007 Portuguese EU Presidency he promoted the adoption of a strategy for the future of S&T in Europe and for the modernisation of universities in the EU.