Sofie Carsten Nielsen, Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science, learned a lot about how important it is to establish ties between researchers and the rest of society. (Photo: Sofie Carsten Nielsen)

Looking back on ESOF2014

This year’s European research conference ESOF is drawing to a close. asked three of the most prominent figures what they got out of the conference.

Sofie Carsten Nielsen, Minister for Higher Education and Science
“I’ve learned a lot about how important it is to establish ties between researchers and the rest of society. It’s been positive to see so many young researchers who are so good at communicating their research results in such a convincing way,”

“It’s important to make sure that the political decisions we make are substantiated, and that spending so much money on research benefits society,”

“It was incredibly inspiring to hear the presentation on Science 2.0 by the Irish European Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. She talked about a paradigm shift within science in general, meaning that researchers make their data available to the public and that science is generally more open to the rest of society. I strongly agree with her views.”

Carl Johan Sundberg, Professor of Pharmacology and co-organiser of ESOF2014
“We did some roleplaying where the theme was that a deadly, contagious virus had spread in Denmark in order to extend people’s knowledge of the complexity of such a situation. Participants were given the role of medical public health officer, journalist or politician. The exercise showed that you can easily make research communication playful and interactive without losing substance,”

“ESOF2014 has been a huge success so far. I think the Carlsberg City District is gorgeous, vibrant and cool. Copenhagen is a lovely city. It seems that journalists, researchers and policymakers have engaged in a good dialogue.”

“ESOF is all about putting science and knowledge on the agenda. Here we can refine the way we look at science.”

Klaus Bock, Professor of Chemistry and member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
“ESOF has been an incredibly inspiring meeting place for researchers from all over the world and all disciplines. The conference has celebrated science and its role in society. It has documented how important it is that there is a dialogue between research and society. That’s been done by letting media, schools, universities, businesses and organisations enter into intense dialogue about the most significant scientific breakthroughs,”

“The conversation between Fabiola Gianetti and Rolf Dieter Heuer about the Higgs particle was the most inspiring event. CERN, where both researchers worked, has shown how important European coordination and integration of research is to our society.”

Translated by: Iben Gøtzsche Thiele

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