Finnish biochemist to head European Science Foundation
The European Science Foundation (ESF) has appointed a new chief executive. Professor Marja Makarow is to succeed Dr John Marks. Professor Makarow is the first woman to take the top post in the
Strasbourg-based science organisation since its foundation in 1974.
Professor Makarow is joining the ESF at a time when the European science community is at a crossroads, says the ESF, with Europe recognising its weakness in coordinating common scientific
The ‘ESF is more relevant than ever, having an essential role in complementing the national research funding and research performing organisations and academies and the framework programmes of
the EU’, Professor Makarow emphasises. ‘These organisations, together with the scientific community, indeed are able to affect the European science agenda. They must aim at capitalising the
benefits for society and mankind that research generates in the form of new knowledge, technologies and interpretations.’
Marja Makarow is an active scientist in the area of molecular virology and molecular cell biology and has been working at the University of Helsinki since 2000, where she holds the positions of
vice-rector for research and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology.
In addition, the Finnish scientist has served in various national and intergovernmental organisations in the research sector for the past decade. She is a member of the Finnish National
Advisory Council for Science and Technology, which reports to the ministries and the Finnish parliament. ‘I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to be able to concentrate completely on the
promotion of research and its impact for society,’ Professor Makarow says.
The current chief executive, Dr John Marks, will stand down at the end of this year and resume his previous post as the ESF’s Director of Science and Strategy. Dr Marks had taken over the post
from Professor Bertil Andersson in April 2007.
The European Science Foundation unites 75 member organisations from 30 European countries. It is dedicated to the coordination of a variety of pan-European scientific activities.
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