After various meetings and individual discussions with the members of the Science Council, Ferry Breedveld announced the ESOF theme on 28 October 2020:

Crossing Borders, Engaged Science, Resilient Societies

The scientific topics this theme covers are:

  1. A sustainable environment (e.g. climate change, human rights, a sustinable way of living, green energy, citizen science, future mobility, future cities, economy)
  2. Cultural Identities and Societal Transformation (e.g. migration, fortress Europe, missions of museums and collections, contested heritage, art, protest movements)
  3. Space for science (e.g. search for earth, construction in space and on the moon, finding extra-terrestrial life, dark matter research, quantum computing)
  4. Healthy societies (e.g. chronic diseases, digital tools, increasing costs, interplay between industrial research and academic research, global inequalities, data protection, artificial intelligence)
  5. Freedom and societal responsibility of science (e.g. integrity in science advice, dialogue between science and policy, funding in freedom of science, responsible research and innovation, science diplomacy, conflicts of interests)
  6. Back to Business: the way forward with action-based entrepreneurship education (e.g. entrepreneurial education, research performed in academia and industry, value-driven innovation, innovation out of the humanities)
  7. Off the beaten track: new paths for Academic Careers (e.g. new career paths, research quality vs. quantity, the role of team science)