ESF backs workshops to spearhead European research

April 9, 2002

Brussels, 08 April 2002

Each year the European Science Foundation (ESF) supports between 40 and 50 'exploratory workshops' which allow scientists to bounce fresh ideas off each other in the pursuit of new avenues for European research.

Each workshop brings together around 20 leading European scientists to discuss the future of life sciences and technology in Europe. The ESF Standing Committee for Life and Environmental Sciences (LESC) - which chooses the exploratory workshops to receive support - say the discussions provide an excellent platform for developing future ESF activities.

The 2002 call for proposals has been published on the ESF website. Emphasis this year is on 'life and environmental sciences' in general, but the LESC has also selected three priority areas: 'The scientific basis for environmental monitoring and forecasting of extreme events'; 'Informatics - the long-term management of biological and environmental data'; and 'Environmental values - resolving social and economic conflicts to ensure sustainability'.

A closer look at the themes

Changes in water cycles, natural disasters and fragile ecosystems are just three examples of how global climate change affects the planet.

Accurate forecasting, whether by the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) or another instrument, is needed to measure planetary change and define measures to manage it.

The LESC is keen to support workshops to achieve this goal. It will also back ones which specifically target the problem of managing huge amounts of environmental and biological data in the long-term - a problem set to worsen unless a standard operating and archiving systems is implemented.

The third workshop theme put forward by the ESF aims to bring natural scientists together with their counterparts in the social and economic sciences to establish a set of 'values' (environmental or other) towards resolving the ongoing debate: 'quality of life versus wealth creation'.

More information
European Science Foundation

Source: Research DG index_en.html

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