Science Building Bridges
EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) is the largest multidisciplinary conference dedicated to scientific research and science policy in Europe. The participants include researchers, communicators, decision-makers and businesspeople. The conferences are biennial, and the last one took place in Dublin, Ireland in 2012 and attracted 4500 participants.
ESOF aims to create a platform for discussing research-related challenges.
Denmark’s Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education hosted ESOF 2014, which was held in the Carlsberg City District of Copenhagen on 21–26 June 2014. The title of the conference was Science Building Bridges, and Denmark, as the conference chair, hoped to strengthen the bridges between science and society and between private companies and the public sector. The conference was based on eight major societal challenges, including one entitled The Healthy Society. This focused on how research results and technological development can contribute to improving the health of individuals and society in general.
Festival of knowledge
An integrated element of ESOF 2014 was a parallel festival of knowledge called Science in the City. This public outreach programme aimed to stimulate the public’s interest in science by showcasing the latest advances in science and technology. The festival expected to attract up to 30,000 participants.
The Novo Nordisk Foundation had awarded a grant of DKK 3 million (€402,000) to Denmark’s Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education towards planning and hosting the programme track on The Healthy Society.
The Novo Nordisk Foundation had also awarded a grant of DKK 500,000 (€67,000) to the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences of the University of Copenhagen, which was arranging a communication project to coincide with the Science in the City festival comprising an exhibition and research presentations by faculty researchers. The project provided participants with knowledge from research, encouraging them to reflect on how everyone can contribute to healthy lives. The themes included “Can medicine be personalized – and how?” and “What happens to the body when we exercise?”.
Denmark’s Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, the European Commission and six other foundations and individual companies and organizations also contributed to organizing ESOF 2014.
Photo above: Visit Carlsberg