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Our friend and colleague Francis Muguet has passed away

Francis Muguet Within the period of October between 3 and 14, 2009, French scientist, defender of the free and open access to scientific content, Francis Fabien Michel Muguet died suddenly in the age of 54 years. Our institute was tied to this outstanding personality for years of fruitful partnership and genuine friendship.

Francis Fabien Michel Muguet was Doctor of Science of Texas Tech University (Ph.D. Thesis on water chemistry, 1992) and holds a law degree. He was a researcher at ENSTA (Ecole Nationale Superieure de Techniques Avancées) from 1993 to 2009 and worked, during the last months of his life, as a consultant for International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the University of Geneva.

Defender of the free and open access to scientific content, he chaired the Civil Society Scientific Information Working Group, and co-ordinated group on Patents, trademarks and copyrights to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

Francis is also known for designing the pattern of global patronage which aims to answer the legal argument raised against the global license under the Berne Convention on copyright. The sponsorship was supported by his friend Richard Stallman who co-authored with Francis the Declaration of La Louisiane at a workshop organized by the Société française de l'Internet (French Society of the Internet) in March 12, 2009. Francis was then one of the founders of the SARD, a Society of acceptance and distribution of gifts inspired by the principles of global patronage. Following the announcement of his death, a change was made in the process of printing the book La bataille Hadopi, which he had contributed, for dedicating it to him.

He was also active in the World Network for Linguistic Diversity and point of contact for the Dynamic Coalition for Linguistic Diversity of the Internet Governance Forum and a member of ICVolunteers. From 2001 to 2005, he was Associate Editor MDPI Center Basel.

Adama Samassekou, president of the Geneva process of the World Summit on the Information Society and president of Maaya, wrote, as a tribute to à Francis Muguet: "Having had the great honour and privilege of chairing the preparatory process of the Geneva phase of the WSIS, I can attest to the significant role played, on the Civil Society side, by Francis Muguet in the adoption of some key texts of the Geneva Declaration and Plan of Action, especially the third key principle on “Access to information and knowledge", of which paragraph 28 deals with open access to scientific knowledge and was largely inspired and penned by him."

We sincerely condole with family, relatives and friends of Francis. We will be truly missing his stupendous knowledge and energy, impassioned adhesion to the principles, unconventional way of thinking.  He will remain in our memory forever.


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