Tag Archives: ESOF

Science City: Manchester 2016

Manchester (UK) is celebrating its designation as the European City of Science concurrently with the European Open Science Forum (ESOF) 2016 which will be held there as I noted in a May 8, 2015 posting, which focused largely on the forum. An Oct. 22, 2015 Manchester: European City of Science announcement reveals early details about the city’s celebration of science,

Be part of the Manchester Science Formula

We’re concocting something special for Manchester for 2016. You might have already heard about Manchester becoming the European City of Science, and we would like to invite you to get involved!

Manchester’s year was started by celebrating alongside the launch 2015 Manchester Science Festival, at the Museum of Science and Industry. We captured everyone’s enthusiasm for science in our pop-up photo booth, where many made a promise to bring science alive in Manchester over the next year.  You can see more pictures and promises here.

We’re inviting everyone to be involved and make the most of the focus on science in Manchester in 2016. If you would like to find out how to join us, please visit manchestersciencecity.com to join our newsletter and you can also discover more about our plans for The Manchester Robot Orchestra and the Big School Science Share, just two of the exciting developments announced at the launch.

The 2015 Manchester Science Festival is still ongoing and once it ends Manchester is hosting a science policy week,

Manchester Science Festival

Running from 22 October – 1 November, the Manchester Science Festival is in its 9th year and promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

Curated by the Museum of Science and Industry, there will be events held city-wide that are suitable for all ages.

Keep an eye on #MSF15 for trending topics and the website for all the available events.

Manchester Policy Week

For five jam-packed days in November, the Manchester Policy Week takes over the University of Manchester. There will be everything from lectures to workshops to films and they’re open to everyone.

This year, Manchester Policy Week has the theme of ‘Science, Technology and Public Policy’ as part of the European City of Science.

Policy week runs from 2-6 November.

I’m quite taken with what they’re doing in Manchester and with how this ‘city of science’ festival has grown. I believe it was introduced by the Irish when they hosted ESOF 2012 in Dublin and later adopted by Copenhagen when they hosted ESOF 2014. Each city has given this festival its own flavour and it is becoming a richer experience each time. Bravo!

Science as revolution: the 2016 European Science Open Forum in Manchester, UK

Should you be interested in presenting at the 2016 European Science Open Forum (2016 ESOF) which takes place July 22 – 27, 2016 in Manchester, UK, you have until June 1, 2015 at 10 am CET to make your submission.

Here’s more from the ESOF 2016 homepage,

Science as Revolution from Cottonopolis to Graphene City

Manchester is the city where Marx met Engels and Rolls met Royce. Similarly ESOF 2016 will be a meeting of minds, bringing together many of the world’s foremost scientific thinkers, innovators and scholars. Capitalising on Manchester’s unique history as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution the theme for ESOF 2016 has been announced as ‘science as revolution’.

ESOF 2016 will comprise a number of distinct programme tracks:

• A science programme of seminars, workshops and debates on the latest research and related policy issues, structured around a programme of keynote speakers and the latest scientific issues. The call for proposals is now open.

• A science-to-business programme to explore the major issues for research within business and industry and the role of universities for business.

• A career programme showcasing career opportunities across Europe and beyond for researchers at all stages of their careers.

An exhibition that showcases the best of European academic, public and private research.

A forum to host other meetings, satellite events and networking opportunities (e.g. science policy advisers and science media)

Call for proposals

Submissions for the science programme are now open until the deadline for session proposals is 1 June 2015 at 10:00 am CET. There are nine core themes running through the science programme, spanning particle physics to pandemics, antimicrobial resistance to artificial intelligence and the Anthropocene epoch. More information on each of the themes can be found here. The nine themes are:

• Healthy populations

• Material dimensions

• Sustaining the environment

• Turing’s legacy – data and the human brain

• Far frontiers

• Living in the Future

• Bio-revolution

• Science for policy and policy for science

• Science in our cultures

A May 4, 2015* ESOF 2016 announcement extends the invitation (I apologize for the repetition but there’s enlightening additional  information such as the invitation being global and free registration is included if your proposal is accepted),

With themes spanning antimicrobial research to artificial intelligence, the green economy to graphene – there are hundreds of topics to be explored and even more reasons to get involved in the science programme. Playing on Manchester’s unique history as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the overarching theme for the event has been announced as ‘science as revolution’. As such, ESOF 2016 will be an opportunity to discuss the socio-cultural and economic implications and impacts of scientific revolutions from regional, national, European and global perspectives.

Over recent years ESOF has developed into the largest multi-disciplinary science meeting in Europe, where scientists meet scientists, policy makers, media specialists, business leaders and the wider community. The home of ESOF 2016 is Manchester, UK – the city where Marx met …. . Similarly ESOF 2016 will be a meeting of minds, bringing together many of the world’s foremost scientific thinkers, innovators and scholars from 23-27 July 2016. And 2016 is a special year for science in Manchester, coinciding with the 250th anniversary of the birth of John Dalton – the father of atomic theory. ESOF will be the culmination of an 18 month celebration of science in the city.

There is still plenty of time for proposals to be submitted for science-based seminars, workshops and debates on the latest research and policy issues, all of which are warmly welcomed. This is an open invitation to individuals and organisations alike and it is hoped that the call will inspire our foremost thinkers and researchers from across the global scientific community to take a unique look to share with us how science, technology and innovation has the potential to transform all our lives.

Please note that all session organisers and speakers are entitled to complimentary registration for the conference, with access to the full science programme, plenary sessions and the ESOF 2016 exhibition.

Manchester is being described as Europe’s City of Science 2016 which I thought was an initiative of Dublin’s city council when the city hosted the 2012 ESOF and which was then adopted by Copenhagen in 2014 during its ESOF hosting period. It appears I may have misunderstood and this title is part of the ESOF hosting designation as per a Sept. 30, 2013 University of Manchester press release,  Perhaps one of these days I’ll be able to settle the matter for my own satisfaction if no one else’s.

*’3015′ changed to ‘2015’ on Oct. 28, 2015.

University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute opens—officially

A little over two years after the announcement of a National Graphene Institute at the UK’s University of Manchester in my Jan. 14, 2013 post, Azonano provides a March 24, 2015 news item which describes the opening,

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, was invited to open the recently completed £61m National Graphene Institute (NGI) at the University of Manchester on Friday 20th March [2015].

Mr Osbourne was accompanied by Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov as he visited the institute’s sophisticated cleanrooms and laboratories.

For anyone unfamiliar with the story, the University of Manchester was the site where two scientists, Kostya (Konstantin) Novoselof and Andre Geim, first isolated graphene. In 2010, both scientists received a Nobel prize for this work. As well, the European Union devoted 1B Euros to be paid out over 10 years for research on graphene and the UK has enthusiastically embraced graphene research. (For more details: my Oct. 7, 2010 post covers graphene and the newly awarded Nobel prizes; my Jan. 28, 2013 post covers the 1B Euros research announcements.)

A March 20, 2015 University of Manchester press release, which originated the news item, gives more detail,

The NGI is the national centre for graphene research and will enable academics and industry to work side-by-side on the graphene applications of the future.

More than 35 companies from across the world have already chosen to partner with The University of Manchester working on graphene-related projects.

The Government provided £38m for the construction of the Institute via the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), with the remaining £23m provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Mr Osborne said: “Backing science and innovation is a key part of building a Northern Powerhouse. The new National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester will bring together leading academics, scientists and business leaders to help develop the applications of tomorrow, putting the UK in pole position to lead the world in graphene technology.”

One-atom thick graphene was first isolated and explored in 2004 at The University of Manchester. Its potential uses are vast but one of the first areas in which products are likely to be seen is in electronics.

The 7,825 square metre, five-storey building features cutting-edge facilities and equipment throughout to create a world-class research hub. The NGI’s 1,500 square metres of clean room space is the largest academic space of its kind in the world for dedicated graphene research.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester said: “The National Graphene Institute will be the world’s leading centre of graphene research and commercialisation.

“It will be the home of graphene scientists and engineers from across The University of Manchester working in collaboration with colleagues from many other universities and from some of the world’s leading companies.

“This state-of-the-art institute is an incredible asset, not only to this University and to Manchester but also to the UK. The National Graphene Institute is fundamental to continuing the world-class graphene research which was started in Manchester.”

The NGI is a significant first step in the vision to create a Graphene City® in Manchester. Set to open in 2017 the £60m Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) will complement the NGI and initiate further industry-led development in graphene applications with academic collaboration.

Last year the Chancellor also announced the creation of the £235m Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials at The University of Manchester with satellite centres in Sheffield, Leeds, Cambridge, Oxford and London.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Professor Colin Bailey, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester said: “The opening of the National Graphene Institute today, complemented by the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre opening in 2017 and the future Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, will provide the UK with the facilities required to accelerate new materials to market.

“It will allow the UK to lead the way in the area which underpins all manufacturing sectors, resulting in significant inward investment, the stick-ability of innovation, and significant long-term job creation.”

Congratulations to everyone involved in the effort.

As I mentioned earlier today in a post about Kawasaki city (Japan), Manchester will be the European City of Science when it hosts the EuropeanScience Open Forum (ESOF) in 2016.

Apply for media travel grant to attend EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) 2014

The deadline for applications is Friday March 14, 2014 at 13:00 CET. For those who like a little more information or are unfamiliar with the EuroScience Open Forum, here’s a description from the ESOF hub homepage along with a description of the parent organization, EuroScience,

ESOF – EuroScience Open Forum – is the biennial pan-European meeting dedicated to scientific research and innovation. At ESOF meetings leading scientists, researchers, young researchers, business people, entrepreneurs and innovators, policy makers, science and technology communicators and the general public from all over Europe discuss new discoveries and debate the direction that research is taking in the sciences, humanities and social sciences.

EuroScience (ES) is a European non-profit grassroots association open to research professionals, teachers, students, science administrators, policy-makers, etc. and generally to any citizen interested in science and technology and its links with society. EuroScience represents not only European scientists of all ages, disciplines and nationalities but also from the business sector and public institutions such as universities and research institutes.

The 2014 ESOF is being held in Copenhagen, Denmark from June 21 – 26, 2014 with the general theme of ‘Science Building Bridges’ and following on that theme there are eight scientific themes (from the Scientific Themes page),

The Healthy Society

In recent years, scientific and technological developments have contributed to major progress in the health of individuals and for societies at large. What are the future roads to increased health in the world? How will science, technology and innovation contribute to this development? Where are the major challenges and possibilities?

Possible issues: Epidemology; Holistic Medicine; Healthy Workforces and Public Budgets; Ageing; Personalized Medicine; Telemedicine; Obesity; The Globalization of Disease; Diet, Physical Activity and
Health; Biomarkers; Gene Therapy; etc.

A Revolution of the Mind

Brain research and cognitive neuroscience have opened our understanding of the human mind. What should we use the knowledge for? What are the consequences for thinking and practice in academic, political and commercial life? And should new knowledge of the brain change our conception of human beings?

Possible issues: Neurobiology of Disease; Therapeutic Interventions; Mental Health; Arts and Pleasure; Behaviour and Marketing; Cognition and Computation; Animal Modelling; Ageing; Degeneration and
Regeneration; Physical Exercise and Mind; Development of Brain and Learning; etc.

Global Resource Management

Natural resources are essential for sustaining basic human welfare, e.g. drinking water and food. Moreover, for most industries some natural resources are necessary to manufacture products, e.g. metals, rare earths, water and bio-materials. The need for resources is stressing ecosystems and economic development. How can scientific and technological developments secure an effective and timely response for the global need for resources? How can resilience be built in?

Possible issues: Deep Sea Mining; Food Security; Geopolitics; Recycling; Oceanography; Environmental Administration; Ecosystem Services; Space Informatics; Geology; Water Management; Global Engineering; Global Justice; Efficient transport; Etc.

Learning in the 21st Century

Well-educated and knowledgeable citizens are essential for inclusive and vibrant societies. But what are the skills and knowledge needed in the future? And how should we learn them – are the days of national,
educational systems over and does science and technology offer ways to improve our ways of learning?

Possible themes: Early Childhood Learning; Life Long Learning; Assessment and Evaluation; Educational Organization and Leadership; Literacies; Science, Mathematics and Technology; Informal Learning; Mass education; Globalization; Higher Education; New Devices for Learning; Brain Development and Learning; Epigenetics and Learning; etc.

Green Economy

According to key parameters, the climate system is already moving beyond the patterns of natural variability. Many researchers, politicians, businesses and interest groups have responded with a call for a green economy that bridges continued economy growth and a sustainable, global ecosystem. Can science and technology deliver on this transition?

Possible themes: Fossil-based Energy; Forecasting; Future Energy Solutions; Economic Modelling; Renewable Energy; Transportation; Climate change; Climate Adaptation; Public-driven Transformation;
Eco-building; etc.

Material and Virtual World

The fundamental understanding of materials has shifted the borders of engineering and production. Moreover, the breakthroughs in information and communication technologies have altered our perceptions of what constitutes reality. Where will the next scientific breakthroughs take us?

Possible themes: Engineering; Surveillance, Nanotechnologies; Quantum computation; Industrial Virtual Reality; Simulation; Industrial Technologies; Manufacturing, Robotics; Human Enhancement; etc.

Urbanization, Design and Liveability

Forecasts claim that the future will be urbanized. So the grand challenges need to be faced in an urban setting. Moreover, the cities need to sustain and enhance urban areas as a place of vitality, liveability and accessibility – how can science, technology and innovation support the design of solutions?

Possible themes: Migration; Governance; Economic Growth; Rural-urban Transformations; Healthy Cities; Liveability; Demography; Water Management; Urban Planning, Security; Transportation, Welfare Design; Poverty; Regionalization; Waste Management; Sharing Economy; etc.

Science, Democracy & Citizenship

Science and scientists can facilitate, interrupt or enrich democratic decision making. When should science be the privileged provider of knowledge and when are scientists citizens? What should be the division of labour between facts and norms; between science and democracy?

Possible themes: Ethics; GMOs; Knowledge Society; Evidence-based Policy; Policy for Science; Climate Change; Authority; Social Choice; Deliberative Democracy; Trust; Institutionalism; Democratization; etc.

The ESOF 2014 website is easy to navigate and you can find out who has already signed up as a participant and/or speaker, as well as, many other details.

Getting back to the media travel grants,

1. – Purpose

The organisers of Europe’s largest general science event, EuroScience Open Forum, invite journalists from around the world to apply for media travel grants. It is expected that 250 media representatives will be at the science forum in Copenhagen from 21-26 June 2014.

The slogan of EuroScience Open Forum 2014 in Copenhagen (ESOF2014) is ‘Science Building Bridges’. One of the main objectives of the event is to build links between the media and the research community by providing a platform where journalists can discuss and report on the latest scientific developments.

To secure that journalists from a broad range of news organisations take part, EuroScience Open Forum 2014 in Copenhagen has announced its Media Travel Grant Scheme.

2. – The scheme

The ESOF2014 Secretariat offers a lump sum of €750 to help cover the costs of travel and accommodation for journalists who wish to report from ESOF2014.

Please note that all expenses covered must be in accordance with the travel guidelines issued by the Danish Agency for Science and Innovation. This means that all travel must be on economy class only and that accommodation expenses must not exceed €135 per night (February 2014).

3. – Who can apply?

Journalists irrespective of their gender, age, nationality, place of residence and media (newspaper, news agency, magazine, radio, TV or New Media) are welcome to apply. [emphasis mine]

4. – Application procedure

To submit an application, please follow the application procedure here

On submitting the application form for the travel grant, you agree to the full acceptance of the rules and to the decisions taken by the ESOF2014 Media Travel Grant Selection Committee.

The deadline for submitting an application is Friday 14 March 2014 at 13:00 CET.

5. – Selection Committee and decision

The Selection Committee is composed of members of the ESOF2014 Secretariat and the ESOF2014 International Media and Marketing Committee.

The selection of candidates will be based on the applicant’s CV and motivation statement. The Selection Committee will also strive to secure that various countries and types of media are represented in the group of successful applicants.

An e-mail with the decision will be sent in early April 2014 to all applicants stating whether or not their application has been successful.

6. – Payment conditions

Money will be transferred to the grantees after ESOF2014, subject to:

  • Mandatory participation at EuroScience Open Forum 2014 in Copenhagen.
  • Provision of documentation for travel and accommodation expenses up to a total of €750*
  • Completion of a feedback questionnaire regarding the scheme.

Good luck and one final comment. The ‘building bridges’ theme reminded me of an Oct. 21, 2010 posting where I was discussing Copenhagen, creativity, and science within the context of then recent research into what makes some cities attractive to scientists,

When the Øresund bridge connecting Copenhagen, Denmark, with Malmö, Sweden, opened in 2000, both sides had much to gain. Sweden would get a physical connection to the rest of mainland Europe; residents of Copenhagen would have access to cheaper homes close to the city; and economic cooperation would increase. But Christian Matthiessen, a geographer at the University of Copenhagen, saw another benefit — the joining of two burgeoning research areas. “Everyone was talking about the transport of goods and business connections,” he says, “and we argued that another benefit would be to establish links between researchers.”

Ten years later, those links seem to be strong. The bridge encouraged the establishment of the ‘Øresund region’, a loose confederation of nine universities, 165,000 students and 12,000 researchers. Co-authorship between Copenhagen and the southernmost province of Sweden has doubled, says Matthiessen. The collaborations have attracted multinational funds from the European Union. And the European Spallation Source, a €1.4-billion (US$2-billion) neutron facility, is on track to begin construction in Lund, Sweden, in 2013.

The region’s promoters claim that it is emerging as a research hub of northern Europe, aided in part by construction of the bridge. For Matthiessen, the bridge also inspired the start of a unique research project — to catalogue the growth and connections of geographical clusters of scientific productivity all over the world. [emphases mine]

You can find the Nature article by Richard Van Noorden describing research about cities and why they are or aren’t attractive to scientists here.

European and Asian science get cozy

The Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) meeting scheduled July 11 – 15, 2012 in Dublin, Ireland features a session on titled ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) – EU (European Union) Partnership Symposium: A Year of Science. Few details are available in the programme but I have found more information in a Feb. 23, 2012 news item on Nanowerk about Thailand’s NANOTEC,

NANOTEC researchers participated as speakers during the visit of science journalist from 8 European nations. The visit is organized under the umbrella of the FP7 funded SEA-EU-NET project, in which NSTDA [Thailand’s National Science and Technology Development Agency]  is a partner, and the ASEAN-EU Year of Science, Technology and Innovation 2012.

I guess it makes a certain kind of sense that I found out more about ASEAN in a news item originating from Thailand as it turns out that ASEAN was founded in Thailand in 1967. Meanwhile, the SEA-EU-NET website provides some insight into this ‘alphabet soup’ of international scientific cooperation (from the home page),

We are deepening S&T [science and technology] cooperation between Europe and Southeast Asia in a strategic manner by identifying opportunities for S&T cooperation, creating a policy dialogue between the countries of Europe and Southeast Asia on S&T cooperation, and increasing the participation of researchers from Southeast Asia in the EC’s Seventh Framework programme (FP7). FP7 is the European Commission’s €53 billion programme for funding research and is open to Southeast Asia partners across research institutions, universities, and industry (including SMEs).

Here’s a bit more about the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ and European Union’s Science and Technology Year 2012,

The EU-ASEAN Year of STI 2012 is a SEA-EU-NET activity which was launched in November 2011 and will be carried out during 2012. Offering a plattform for the bi-regional STI dialogue, this activity coordinates a wide variety of joint scientific and technological events.

I hope I can get to Dublin to hear more about this ASEAN – EU effort.

AAAS 2012 Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012 roundup: quantum computing, nanocellulose, religion & science in the classroom, and ESOF in Dublin

Strangely, I have an increased interest in quantum computing after attending a few session yesterday where I didn’t understand much of anything in detail. There was the ‘Quantum Computing: Current Status and Future Prospects” session where various speakers spoke eloquently about their discoveries and outstanding challenges. There was a plea for researcher to keep the field ‘open’ and not to focus exclusively on one line of research or one material (don’t focus solely graphene/silicon/carbon nanotubes/etc.) as the ‘holy grail’ of quantum computing. The other ‘quantum’ session, “Quantum Information Science and Technology: A Global Perspective,” featured researchers working in China, Singapore, Canada, Germany, and the US. Unfortunately, I only managed to attend part of the session. (One of the problems with conferences is the number of sessions being run simultaneously and trying to attend as much ass possible means makings all kinds of compromises. It’s a good problem to have.)

The “NanoCellulose : An Abundant, Sustainable, Versatile Biopolymer” session was partly concurrent with the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) press briefing so I managed to hear only two of their (nanocellulose) speakers, Ted Wegman of the US Forest Service and Nils Petersen, Director General of Canada’s National Institute of Nanotechnology (NINT). Wegman presented an overview of nanocellulose research progress in the US and its potential use in many products while Petersen focussed on the NINT research team and their projects. Petersen did mention the overall Canadian scene somewhat summarily.It was not the presentation described in the programme and it had the air of something cobbled together out of well worn material.

ETA Feb.19.12 at 9:50 am: Wegman mentioned two nanocellulose plants being readied in the US, one being in the state of Maine (100Kg/day?)  and the other in the state of Wisconsin (opening in April/May 2012 and producing 20Kg/day). (I will check those numbers.)

The ESOF briefing promised some excitement at the July meeting in Dublin. They released their programming schedule and spoke at length about the science meeting and the related cultural activities being planned. (I’ll have more about that in a later posting.) The AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) representative, Al Teich, noted that the US is having to grapple with a changing landscape regarding science and research (in other words, no longer being the ‘top dog’) and he explicitly stated that the ESOF meetings are fun. I guessed that from the previews (A tale of two cities and their science meetings: vibrant Dublin and sad sack Vancouver) but it’s nice to hear it confirmed.

One other thing, the “Beyond Evolution: Religious Questions in Science Classrooms” was one of those presentations I attended accidentally and I’m sorry I didn’t hear more. They were discussing science as process rather than doctrine and there was some discussion about the impact various religions had on scientific progress.

Travel grant to Euroscience Open Forum 2012

Dublin (Ireland) will be the City of Science for 2012 (as per my April 29, 2011 posting) and, as part of the festivities, will be hosting the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) in July. From the Dublin City of Science 2012 page about the travel grants to attend ESOF,

Created by Euroscience, ESOF – Euroscience Open Forum – is the biennial pan-European meeting dedicated to scientific research and innovation. At ESOF meetings leading scientists, researchers, young researchers, journalists, business people, entrepreneurs and innovators, policy makers, science and technology communicators and the general public from all over the world discuss new discoveries and debate the direction that research is taking in the sciences, humanities and social sciences.

If I read the details correctly, you can be reimbursed for up to 750 euros if your application is successful. From the travel grants page,

Journalists irrespective of their nationalities and of their media (paper, radio, TV, web). Media accreditation will be required.

The Selection Committee is:
•    Philip Campbell, (Editor at Nature Publishing Group)
•    Gail Cardew,  (Chair of the ESOF Supervisory Board)
•    Ruth Francis, (Head of Press at Nature Publishing Group)
•    Carl Johan Sundberg, (Euroscience Vice-President)

The eligibility criteria will mainly be based on the CV assessment and the applicant’s motivation statement in attending ESOF2012.

An email of decision will be sent to all candidates stating whether or not their application has been selected and whether they have secured a grant. (February 2012)

The deadline is Jan. 31, 2012. Go here to submit an application (you will have to register for an account as ESOF if you haven’t already). Good luck!