Sharing Science: Towards New Horizons – ESOF2018

This week, I will be at EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) 2018. I’m writing this in Frankfurt airport while waiting for my flight to Toulouse, where ESOF2018 is taking place.

But first, what is ESOF?

To be honest, I didn’t know about it before KI Career Service sent out an email to us bloggers offering two of us the opportunity to go to ESOF. Since then, I looked it up.

ESOF takes place every second year, it started in 2004 (in Stockholm), and it’s founded by EuroScience. ESOF brings together scientists, university staff, business people, policymakers, publishers, journalists, and the general public. So this is not the specialized conference we scientists usually attend.

ESOF is all about bringing people together to discuss the future of science. And this years motto is: “Sharing Science: Towards New Horizons”.

 

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The sessions at ESOF2018 are broad. They range from scientific breakthroughs, to environmental challenges, science policy, career discussions and more. This program attracts a broad array of people (and more than 4000 of them).

The program is divided into 3 categories: scientific, careers, and science to business.

I will mainly be attending sessions in the science policy, science communication, and career areas. I look forward to sessions on how to tackle the large number of PhDs and Postdocs, and how to ensure a sustainable future for these groups. I also look forward to two sessions that will tackle the (problematic) use of the excellence term in science.

And right now, it’s all about Open Science. This will also be discussed at ESOF, and I will attend at least two sessions on Open Science, it’s challenges, opportunities, and how to implement Open Science practices. There will also be discussions on how Open Science may or may not be problematic for ECRs (early career researchers). Should ECRs embrace Open Science and Open Access instead of a high impact factor?

Another big issue at the moment is the general public’s trust in science. Is Europeans losing faith in science? The public attitudes towards science in Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany has been surveyed, and I will find out the results at ESOF.

All in all, the program at ESOF2018 is exciting and diverse. I’m sure I will return as a more enlightened communicator and scientist, and I look forward to sharing what I learn!

 

Photos: I took a few photos after I arrived. One of the ESOF2018 banner and one of a bag I received, which I went out and filled with brie and baguette after the opening ceremony.

 

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