ESOF2020: A record of applications

ESOF2020 Trieste: a record of applications

Six hundred proposals for the Trieste edition of the EuroScience Open Forum, twice as many as in the two previous editions. One year away from the event, the first acceptances from important guests, such as the mathematician Alessio Figalli, the Director of CERN Fabiola Gianotti, and the President of the Interngovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Hoesung Lee

Trieste, 10 July 2019

“We have received the highest number of proposals in the last three editions of the EuroScience Open Forum. We have surpassed even our most optimistic expectations and we can only be extremely satisfied” states Bruno Della Vedova, Scientific Programme Manager for ESOF2020, following the deadline for applications to the scientific programme of this major event that will take place in Trieste on 5-9 July, 2020.

A total of 598 proposals have arrived. The 2016 Manchester and 2018 Toulouse editions received 351 and 394 respectively. We have virtually doubled those figures. What pleasantly surprised me is the large number of proposals for the section of the programme devoted to science and business and for the one focusing on young people and their careers, in addition to the excellent participation of the Eastern-European countries.” Proposals submitted by Eastern-European countries, the geographical area on which the 2020 edition of ESOF is focusing, account for 12% of the total (71). In fact, Trieste was chosen as the European City of Science 2020 also for its pivotal role between the East and West of the Old Continent.

Following Italy, which presented 220 applications, Belgium, Germany and France are the three countries that have sent the highest number of proposals. Applicants from all over the world participated in the call: in particular, among non-European countries, the greatest number of applications was received from United States, South Africa, Brazil and Japan. Of the 598 proposals, 468, 78% of the total, were submitted for the Science Programme; 77, equivalent to 13% of the total, are relative to the programme investigating the important relationships between research and business (Science to Business Programme). And finally, 53 proposals, 9%, pertain to the programme covering careers in science and technology (Career Programme).

The most successful Programme Themes were those focusing on science and society (143 proposals), on science and policy (94 proposals) and on the sustainable future (58 proposals). “I wish to express my enormous satisfaction for these results” says the Champion of ESOF2020 Stefano Fantoni, who adds: “This is a record number of proposals, in spite of some, just a few, but aggressive detractors of our event. My thanks to the whole ESOF2020 team for their great information and communication work, and in particular to Bruno Della Vedova, the event’s Scientific Programme Manager. I am certain the Trieste edition of ESOF will be remembered well into the future of EuroScience events. Participation from Eastern-European countries is of great significance, confirming that Trieste can represent the ideal platform for collaboration with these countries.”

Important guests

A year away from the event, the names of the first VIP guests attending begin to filter through. The Presidency of the Council of Ministers, whose leading figures met with the Champion Stefano Fantoni last Monday, have confirmed their keen interest in ESOF2020 and the presence of the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in July 2020. The Governor of the Bank of Italy Ignazio Visco has also confirmed his participation in the event. Representatives from the major European Institutions and Organizations tied to the world of research and innovation will also be present, including the out-going and in-coming Presidents of the European Research Council (ERC), Jean-Pierre Bourguignon and Mauro Ferrari respectively, and the Director-General of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission Jean-Eric Paquet. Confirmation has been received from the first main speakers on the scientific programme: the General Director of CERN in Geneva Fabiola Gianotti; the Italian mathematician Alessio Figalli, winner of the Fields medal 2018. They are complemented by Hoesung Lee, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Iain Mattaj, Director of Human Technopole in Milan, Griša Močnik from the Jožef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, and the epidemiologist Tolullah Oni, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2019.

ESOF – EuroScience Open Forum – is the biennial pan-European meeting dedicated to scientific research and innovation. During the forum, leading scientists, young researchers, business people, policy makers, science communicators and the general public discuss new discoveries and debate the direction that research is taking in the sciences, humanities and social sciences. Trieste has been nominated City of Science 2020 and will host the ninth edition of ESOF, which will take place from 5 to 9 July 2020. A key feature of every ESOF edition is the Science in the City Festival, which is dedicated to people of all ages who are curious about science and will be held from 27 June to 11 July 2020 in the city centre. Trieste ESOF 2020’s main event will be held in the extraordinary area of the Old Port (Porto Vecchio), which has been for decades the commercial port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and now is an outstanding architectural and industrial heritage that the Trieste Municipality is redeveloping and requalifying.

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