Giving a voice to science in Europe

February 13, 2004

Brussels, 12 Feb 2004

Following much deliberation, Euroscience – an association of science stakeholders – has announced the scientific themes for its 2004 Open Forum, from which many parallels can be drawn with the research priorities under FP6.

Since 1997, Euroscience has been stoking the fires of science and technology (S&T) debate. Through its activities, this association – comprising 1 500 members in 40 European countries – strives to strengthen the links between science and society, with a view to creating an "integrated space" for S&T.

Through its activities, such as the annual EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), it seeks to give a voice to the wide range of actors involved in planning, administering and carrying out scientific research in all its forms, including the social sciences. Among those taking part are science professionals, teachers, PhD students, post-docs, engineers, industrialists, policy-makers from local to EU levels, and pretty much anyone interested in S&T and its role in society.

Euroscience organises workshops, conferences, regional initiatives, awards and the Open Forum on a range of subjects – such as the future of young scientists and European science collaboration and integration – which actually reinforce similar initiatives in the EU's Science and Society programme; namely 'science and governance', 'ethics' and 'youth and science'.

What and when

Around 250 speakers – including Nobel laureates, top science advisors and Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin – are expected at the 2004 ESOF, which will take place in Stockholm (SE) from 25-28 August. Euroscience has distilled some 250 proposed topic areas into 49 sessions tackling a broad range of scientific challenges.

These sessions are divided into 17 broad themes: ageing and demography, climate and environment change, communicating science, dealing with risk, emerging technologies, energy, evolution of life, health, human brains, humanity and space, knowledge in society, mind and behaviour, nanoscience and nanotechnology, science and ethics, science and arts, science policy in Europe, and transformations of cultures.

Many of these topics resonate with the thematic priorities under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) for research, thus offering an excellent opportunity to stimulate debate on the Union's research and development policy objectives. In addition, ESOF is taking its science message to the public through a parallel activity called 'Science in the city', taking place in museums, parks and culture centres around Sweden's capital. Registrations for the event start this month.

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