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José Mariano Gago, Former Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Dies at 66

José Mariano Gago, Former Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Dies at 66

MGago at the 2009 CMU Portugal Program Conference
Mariano Gago at the 2009 Conference of the CMU Portugal Program
Prof. José Mariano Gago, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education between 1995 and 2002, and between 2005 and 2011, died on Friday, April 17, in Lisbon.

Prof. Mariano Gago graduated in Electrical Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), in Lisbon, in 1971 and received a Ph.D. in Physics from the École Polytechnique – Université Pierre et Marie Curie, in Paris, in 1976. After a research appointment at CERN, in Geneva, between 1976 and 1978, he became a Professor at IST, and founded and chaired the Portuguese Laboratory for Particle Physics (LIP).

While Minister of Science, he set the foundations for the extraordinary development of Science and Technology in Portugal in the past two decades, and led the reform of the country’s Higher Education system. He also launched the Ciência Viva movement to promote the scientific and technological education of the Portuguese society.

It was under the leadership of Prof. Mariano Gago that the international partnerships with U.S. universities were launched, aiming at contributing to the internationalization of Portuguese universities and research organizations, increasing cooperation between Portuguese institutions, increasing access to high-tech R&D equipment, and promoting cultural change in the Portuguese R&D sector.

Mariano Gago with Students at CMU
Mariano Gago’s Visit to CMU in 2010

The Portuguese scientific community will honor Prof. José Mariano Gago next Monday, April 20, 2015. Researchers and other members of research centers and universities are invited to gather in front of the main doorways of their institutions for five minutes, at noon, as a public tribute to his outstanding contribution to science in Portugal.


April 18th, 2015