The second edition of ESOF (EuroScience Open Forum) took place in the Deutsches Museum of Munich, Germany. Between 15 and 19 July 2006, more than 2100 participants from 58 countries, including 400 speakers and nearly 500 journalists, gathered at ESOF 2006, the scientific conference that shows European achievements in all scientific disciplines. This forum of debates welcomed scientists, as well as politicians, the general public, and the industry.
ESOF 2006 was opened by Dr. Horst Köhler, the German Federal President and Dr. Annette Schavan, the German Minister for Education. In addition to those two important personalities, many Nobel laureates were present such as Theodor Hansch (Physics, 2005) and the Erasmus awardee Sadik Al-Azm.
Topics such as ageing, ethics in brain research, terrorism or international security attracted large audiences. The ESOF 2006 participants had to choose between various exciting sessions such as “How many homes for E.T. ?”, or “Volcanism and mass extinctions”. Young scientists attended the newly introduced event “Pretzel with the Prof” in the Science Biergarten and exchanged thoughts and ideas with the plenary lecturers. ESOF 2006 also presented its first poetry competition.
The outreach activities presented various scientific experiments and science cafés to answer visitors’ questions. It also displayed fun features like theatrical performances for everyone’s enjoyment.
For more entertainment, many receptions were organised like the Euroscience President’s Reception in the Aviation Hall of the Deutsches Museum or the European Foundations’ Reception and Science Writers Award Ceremony. There was even an evening reception at the “Flugwerft Schleißheim” aerodrome, built after 1912. To close the event and transfer the ESOF passion to the next organizing city, a transfer ceremony took place between Munich and Barcelona.
ESOF 2006 was initiated by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft. ESOF2006 was hosted by Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD), a non-profit organisation founded by the most significant research funding organisations in Germany. Prof. Wolfgang Heckl was Champion for ESOF 2006 and Dr. Ingrid Wünning-Tschol was Vice-Champion.