Prof. José Mariano Gago

Board member and former Chairman of International Risk Governance Council (IRGC)


Former Minister of Portugal, in charge of Science and Technology, Information Society and Higher Education (1995-2002; 2005-2011).

Professor José Mariano Gago is an experimental high energy physicist and a Professor at IST (Instituto Superior Técnico, and LIP, Lisbon).  He graduated as an electrical engineer by IST and obtained a PhD in Physics at École Polytechnique andUniversité Pierre et Marie Curie, in Paris. He worked for many years as a researcher at the European Organisation for Nuclear Physics (CERN), Geneva. 

He has created and chairs a think-tank for forward-looking studies, Instituto de Prospectiva, responsible for the annual Arrabida meetings on prospective studies (since 1991). He launched the Ciência Viva movement to promote S&T culture and S&T in society. He was responsible for the reform of Higher Education and for the policies leading to the fast development of S&T in Portugal. 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. He launched the Eureka-Asia Initiative. Responsible, with M. Heitor, for the launching of new large scale collaborative programs with US universities (MIT-Portugal, as well as with CMU, UTA and Harvard),  Prof. Gago has also prepared, with UNESCO and CPLP, a new initiative for the advanced training of scientists from developing countries, Ciência Global.

He chaired the Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE) and campaigned for the creation of the European Research Council. He also chaired the High Level Group on Human Resources for Science and Technology in Europe and coordinated the European reportEurope Needs More Scientists (2004). Prof. Gago was the first President of theInternational Risk Governance Council (IRGC) in Geneva and is a member of IRGC Board. He is a member of the Academia Europaea.