11 February 2020

Programme for ESOF 2020 unveiled in Trieste

Through the official ESOF 2020 programme, Trieste will showcase its role as the City of Science, with events that link scientific reseach, careers of the future and sustainable development.

More than 170 events, 850 speakers, and 4,000 estimated participants from around 80 countries will be part of ESOF2020, the EuroScience Open Forum to be held in Trieste from 5th to 9th July.

The programme of this biennial event dedicated to scientific research and innovation was officially presented today, at Museo Revoltella in Trieste, Italy, by local and national representatives. Now in its 9th edition, it will be held in Italy for the second time. The event will encompass meetings, debates, and exhibition areas bringing together researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs, journalists, and scientific communicators.

"Hosting ESOF 2020 is a great honour for our community. It will shape the vision of our future, and connect scientific rigour with democratic participation, international awareness and local communities," said Stefano Fantoni, ESOF 2020 Champion. "By reflecting on sustainability and social involvement, the two guidelines of the Trieste event, we want to show that the future is neither a promise nor a threat, but more simply, something we can take ownership of together."

ESOF is a platform created in 2004 by EuroScience, a pan-European grassroots organisation that supports and promotes science and technology in Europe. Michael Matlosz, the president of EuroScience, joined the programme's presentation to celebrate ESOF 2020 in Trieste with all the other partners. "Science can do much. It can open new forms of dialogue and interaction among scientists, citizens and policymakers. Every ESOF edition establishes new links for the future editions," he said.

He added: "Trieste was not chosen on a random basis. This year's motto – Freedom for Science, Science for Freedom – explains why this city was selected among valuable competitors: Trieste won for its high concentration of scientific excellence but also for its natural vocation for openness and freedom of thought."

TWAS will participate in ESOF2020 with an interactive round table, in partnership with the International Science Council and the InterAcademy Partnership. The event titled "Permanent Insecurity: A Science International strategy to support displaced and refugee scientists and science students", will leverage science as a universal language to promote academic freedom.

Another event titled "Beyond the Lab: Career Pathes between Science and Policy" is organized by S4D4C (“Using Science for/in Diplomacy for addressing global Challenges”) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

TWAS, with its sound experience in Science Diplomacy, is one of 10 partners in the EU Horizon 2020-funded S4D4C consortium. Both TWAS and S4D4C support current and future science diplomacy capacity - in Europe and elsewhere - especially for the development of solutions for global challenges.

Alessia Rosolen, a council member for the Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) region of Italy, observed that FVG has been an important ESOF2020 partner since the very beginning. She praised the team effort that has achieved this important goal, and highlighted its strategic importance for the future of Trieste and its scientific community. ESOF 2020's legacy, she said, will continue well beyond the five core days of the event.

Serena Tonel, a council member at the municipaliy of Trieste, noted one of the beneficial effects that ESOF will have: It will trigger a cultural revolution where science is tightly linked to the economic development.

"ESOF2020 will be an extraordinary event for Trieste, for the Adriatic macro-region, for Europe and others,” summarised Bruno Della Vedova, the local scientific programme coordinator. He added: "It is the arena for lively in-depth discussions on how innovation in every field of science must be the locomotive for change towards sustainable, responsible and coherent development, in line with the new European Green Deal strategy which, by 2050, will make Europe carbon neutral.”

Also in the audience were: Domenico De Martinis, seconded expert from the Italian Ministry of University and Research, another strategic partner that has supported the ESOF team during the whole preparatory stages; and Giovanni Piccoli from AcegasApsAmga, the multiutility leader for water and gas services in the Nord-Est of Italy, a company that will make the event a Zero Impact Event. Marina D'Alessandro, ESOF 2020 communication office offered a detailed overview on keynote events and guests.

Maja de Simoni, the ESOF 2020 project manager, highlighted the importance of ESOF for the future of Trieste, because: "Organizing ESOF has been a demanding task for all. But I hope – I'm sure – that what we have learned is going to remain for the years to come, for Trieste and for a brilliant future of scientific events."

The official programme is now online:

Cristina Serra


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