New faces at Monaco’s Oceanographic Institute
His tie with dinosaur prints matches his character, Philippe Taquet is an internationally renowned paleontologist and the new chairman of the board at the Oceanographic Institute. An “honor and a pleasure” for this 77-year-old dinosaur specialist, who has had a rich career already. He has been a member of the Académie des Sciences since 2004, a naturalist by training, and has already chaired the Institut de France. Interested in linking art and science, he led the National Museum of Natural History from 1985 to 1990, when he created the Great Gallery of Evolution, an example of recognized scientific mediation.
“We come from the oceans. Life was born, extraordinary and exciting worlds. I am very pleased to be following projects that will help inform the public and protect the environment and the oceans. The future of our planet is very much in keeping with the need to preserve the oceans,” explains the new president who had just taken office.
He intends to work to put the Oceanographic Institute at the forefront of research in this field. And he will pay close attention to the scientific expeditions that Prince Albert II will shortly undertake on board the Yersin, he said, at the first meeting of the new office in the Principality.
A renewed team
In addition to a new president, the board of directors at the Oceanographic Institute welcomed new vice-president Marie-Pierre Gramaglia. Member since 2011, the government-minister’s advisor for Environmental Planning received her new role “with honor, to get even more involved in the work of this foundation.”
The Oceanographic Institute-Foundation Albert-l is focused on discovering and promoting knowledge of the seas and public awareness of its riches with its two flagship establishments: the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco and the Maison des Océans in Paris. The administration is composed of ten members: six scientists; two members of the Monegasque Government; a representative of the French Ministry of the Interior and a representative of the Ministry of Research in France. The term of office for the President is four years, renewable twice. After the appointment of a new president and vice-president and secretary-treasurer Gérard Riou was re-instated. In addition, two new scientific personalities are joining the board of directors. “To strengthen its international presence,” notes Robert Calcagno, General Director of the Oceanographic Institute.
Firstly, Maria Damanaki, former European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Julia Marton Lefèvre, former director of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. In parallel, the Institute’s scientific council also has a new president, Philippe Cury, who succeeds Louis Legendre.