ESOF: Looking back & moving forward from the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF2022).

ESOF2016 was the start for me 💡. There were ESOFs (EuroScience Open Forums) before that but Manchester was my first! What an eye opener it was. I was inspired to write a poem ‘Science transcends boundaries’. I had discovered a whole new world of science and thinking. I felt honoured to have been invited to the ESOF2016 Press Office to participate in discussions.

I was hooked from the start and I went on to participate in press conference discussions and generally as a scientist and a science communicator in every ESOF thereafter (in person whenever possible or otherwise on-line).

Poem science

ESOFs cover core areas of science, society, business and careers. Reflecting on the mottos and themes of each event it is not surprising that I, along with many others, have been captivated and inspired.

Manchester 2016: (On-site)
The Motto ‘Science as Revolution’ was an invitation for breakthrough ideas to continue scientific revolutions and encourage focus on past, present and future path-breaking science.

Toulouse 2018: (On-site)
‘Sharing science towards new horizons’ was a theme strongly committed to international openness, dedicated to science and innovation. There were also high-level multidisciplinary exchanges around the big scientific and social issues at stake for the future.

Trieste 2020: (Hybrid. On-site and on-line)
‘Open Knowledge. Fair Future’ and ‘Freedom for Science. Science for Freedom’ .
The spirit of openness and inclusiveness was expressed in the motto. Freedom for Science referred to the ‘open-ended and unresolved questions that science is facing, with method and curiosity, without restrictions of credo or prejudices’. Science for Freedom refers to ‘the inclusiveness of science and its language, which goes beyond borders and conflicts and brings together people of any colour and gender’.

Leiden 2022: (Hybrid. On-site 2 locations and on-line).
The latest enticing overarching theme was ‘Crossing Borders, Engaged Science, Resilient Societies’, also with the forum’s objective of ‘connecting curious minds’. The ESOF2022 theme stems from ‘a need to continue to break down geographical borders in order to share knowledge and collectively solve the complex, intertwined, and universal challenges that all societies encounter’.

Going forward there is a ‘necessity for scientific disciplines from the humanities, the social sciences, the natural, medical and physical sciences, and also people from all walks of life such as scientists, policy makers, the media, and the general public to unite, collaborate, and innovate.’ ‘Only by sharing a single vision for a sustainable future for people, society, and the environment can we overcome our current challenges.’ I share these sentiments.

I have reported previously on the above ESOF events (see notes below). I also have still more to say about the latest ESOF2022.

I am grateful to have been able to learn so much and meet such interesting people over the years. This has enabled me to continue to develop as a scientist and become a better communicator so that I can contribute more effectively to the life sciences field and beyond.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 4/10/22

[Note: Manchester, Toulouse, Trieste, Leiden. For some of my posts and reports on these events searching ESOF on on this site using a laptop/PC will bring up a number of previous posts. Otherwise you can scroll through the ‘Got 2 Minutes?’ section of blogs.]