September 3, 2020 8:30 - 10:00
Featuring inputs from the European Research Council’s current and former Presidents, this session will take stock of the ERC’s achievements in fostering breakthrough science since its creation just over a decade ago. Looking to the future, it will consider how the bottom-up, curiosity-driven science supported by the ERC can best contribute to mission-driven research and market-orientated innovation. The panel will discuss the role of frontier research in addressing global challenges in areas such as climate, health, food, water, energy and security. In line with the ERC’s objective of widening participation and being open to the world, the current and former leaders of Europe’s premier funder of frontier research will set out their views on the further steps needed to make sure scientific excellence is recognized and encouraged wherever it is found. The discussion will also address the connection between science and society in today’s environment of disinformation and declining trust. It will consider how scientists should position themselves in order to engage the public and get decision-makers to take informed positions.