Science builds bridges in Copenhagen 2014
Since 2004, the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) has been an important biannual conference for engaging the scientific community across Europe. Through this platform, a wide array of scientists, researchers, politicians, policy makers, and other stakeholders are brought together to discuss the role of science, its future possibilities, and potential for solving societal challenges. Major focal points for the ESOF2014 (Euroscience open forum 2014) project included strengthening the connections between science and the public, private and public sector, science and media, and between Europe’s scientific endeavours and those on a global basis. Intertwining ESOF2014 and the Science in the City Festival within the Carlsberg City District of Copenhagen was particularly conducive to such efforts, working together to engage the public and promote science as an integral and accessible part of everyday life. The conference was also consciously structured around discussions about global challenges rather than scientific disciplines, allowing participants to consider the potential benefits of a more reciprocal relationship between society and science. In other words, it highlighted how science can aid society and how society can benefit from changing the way public dialogue and public ideas promote it. Another focus of the conference was engaging and encouraging young scientists and researchers. Multiple youth programmes and discussions were conducted, such as 'Picnic with the Prof', where dialogues were opened between the young researchers and professionals and career advisers. media and marketing played a large role in ESOF2014, helping to raise public awareness and taking necessary steps towards the promotion of an exciting and encouraging scientific dialogue within society. Their participation aided dissemination activities in conjunction with the running of two main websites for the conference and the festival. This ensured all results are highly accessible and can be used for developing future scientific European instruments and tools. ESOF2014 was unique and extremely important in integrating many disciplines and consolidating the discussion on science and society within Europe and across the world. Differences in academic background, nationality and age encouraged dynamic debate and delegates were able to make important progress in unleashing the potential of science to reach common solutions to common goals.
Society, science, global issues, scientific community, youth programmes