The ESOF 2012 conference was hosted in Dublin from 11 to 15 July. Its motto was "Your forum. Your future." Counting over 600 speakers, 27 keynote speakers and five Nobel Laureates, it was held in the Convention Center Dublin. More than 4,400 participants and 400 journalists from over 70 countries came to this event, which provided a platform for debate and communication around all scientific disciplines.
ESOF 2012 was a fantastic way to make scientists, business executives, politicians, policy makers, journalists and the general public meet in one place. Scientists had the chance to meet with personalities of the scientific world such as Nobel Prize winners: Jules Hoffmann (Medicine and Physiology, 2011), James Watson (Medicine and Physiology, 1962), Peter Doherty (Medicine and Physiology, 1996) and personalities such as Sir Bob Geldof (Political activist, musician and businessman) and Craig Venter (Founder, Chairman and President of the J. Craig Venter Institute).
The Scientific Programme proposed many attractive sessions to the participants of ESOF 2012 such as “Planetary robots: exploring the new frontier”, “Science and the future of cuisine” or “We must all do something about mathematics!” among the numerous sessions available.
The other programmes also proposed many interesting features. The Career Programme offered “Porridge with the Prof” so that students and professors could discuss while eating their breakfast. The Science to Business Programme included interactive workshops aiming to provide practical help to established entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into viable business propositions. Examples of sessions were: “What are the important criteria for successful open innovation?” or “Paradigms of innovation that transform economies”. The Science in the City Programme proposed several exhibitions and film festivals.
Other features of ESOF 2012 comprised satellite events such as “the Marie Curie actions conference” or the “EUSEA annual conference 2012". Many partner events also took place such as the “EuroScience Science Writers award ceremony” or the “European Science foundation reception”. For more entertainment, different events were organised such as the ESOF party in the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) and the Media party in the old Guinness brewery. There were also receptions, award ceremonies and the handover ceremony between Dublin and Copenhagen to state just a few.
ESOF 2012 Dublin was locally organized by a steering committee of over 50 people representing the public sector, universities, research institutes as well as business and industry, under the stewardship of the Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, Professor Patrick Cunningham, who was also the Champion for ESOF 2012. Dublin was also the European City of Science 2012, and hosted more than 160 science events throughout the year.