John Lynch to Step Down as Board Chairperson; Autentic's Dr. Patrick Hörl Appointed New WCSFP Ltd. Chair

December 1, 2022


The World Congress of Science and Factual Producers (WCSFP) announced today the appointment of Dr. Patrick Hörl as the new WCSFP Ltd. chairperson. John Lynch, chairperson since 2016 and instrumental in the development of the organization, will step down at the close of Congress ’22 and will remain on the board of directors to lead the transition.

"I am honoured to take on the role of chairperson of the board at such an exciting time for our industry, with smarter and more extraordinary content than ever before. Under my management, and with the help of our dedicated board of directors and editorial committee, World Congress will continue to provide leadership, inspiration and guidance to science and factual content creators from across the world in a rapidly changing landscape, as we keep exploring new horizons and opportunities," said Patrick Hörl, WCSFP Chairperson. "The WCSFP board of directors thanks John for his steadfast leadership as chairperson during the last 16 years and for his unwavering support of our organization. John’s contributions to World Congress are vast, and we are very glad that he will remain on the board for the foreseeable future."

During his tenure as chairperson of the board of directors, John Lynch has been instrumental in growing the WCSFP to become the preeminent, and most popular, international specialist factual industry event. John is a leading industry figure in the production of specialist factual film and television, with a substantial track record in creative innovation, editorial judgment and international partnership. In a distinguished media career, including the editorship of Horizon and culminating in a decade as the creative and business leader of the renowned BBC Science Unit, he has long been committed to reaching the widest possible audience with knowledge that matters to their lives. As an award-winning executive producer, writer and director, with three BAFTAs, two Emmys, two RTSs and a Prix Italia, he was responsible for the global smash-hit Walking with Dinosaurs, and produced the acclaimed Horizon documentary Fermat’s Last Theorem. In 2011 he was honoured with an OBE for services to broadcasting. Following his departure from the BBC he has been active on a variety of advisory boards that focus on the communication of knowledge.

Dr. Patrick Hörl is the founder and managing director of the factual entertainment label Autentic. The company produces and distributes high-quality factual shows and series for audiences around the world. Furthermore, he is the MD of the two factual pay-tv channels Spiegel Geschichte and Spiegel TV Wissen, a joint venture between Autentic and Spiegel TV. Patrick is one of the founders of Documentary Campus and serves as chairperson of the board of Campus, a Pan-European advanced training program for young aspiring filmmakers in the fields of documentary film and factual entertainment. Additionally, Patrick is a member of the board of directors of the factual section of Produzentenallianz and has been a board member of WCSFP since 2017.