ASTC presented its highest award October 13 to Per-Edvin “Pelle” Persson, director of Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre, Vantaa, Finland. A limnologist and former director of the Federation of Finnish Scientific Societies, Persson moved to the science center field in 1987 as Heureka’s director of science. Since 1991, he has served as the center’s director. Persson was recognized for his global vision and the inspiration he has offered to science center colleagues worldwide. Under his leadership, Heureka hosted the First Science Centre World Congress, in 1996. Persson also served as ASTC president from 2004 to 2005 and earlier served as president of Ecsite, the European science center network.
In accepting the ASTC Fellow Award for Outstanding Contribution, Persson spoke of science centers’ capacity to touch minds and inspire learning. Scientific knowledge is needed, he said, to help build a better world: “We need to spread the voice of reason—to advance knowledge for the good of humankind, for a healthier planet, for a more prosperous future for our children…. Only by working together can we succeed.”