A 365 day science festival
On Saturday, January 22, 2022, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Robbert Dijkgraaf, has officially marked the beginning of Leiden’s year as the European City of Science. Leiden, as European City of Science 2022, is the first city organising a 365-day science festival intended for anyone with a curious mind. The opening ceremony took place on Saturday, January 22 with a special movie premiere.
Official opening with European Commission
In the opening film of Leiden European City of Science, biologist and artist Auke-Florian Hiemstra of the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre takes us with him on an adventurous journey through Leiden where he has a series of exciting encounters. He is followed by astrophysicist and Kavli Prize winner, Ewine van Dishoeck, who talks about the launch of the James Webb telescope. Singer, Nynke Laverman, then sings about the importance of future generations, and rheumatologist, Ferry Breedveld, talks about the prestigious EuroScience Open Forum that will take place in Leiden this July. Professor Ton Rabelink of Leiden’s Bio Science Park will talk about the innovations of NecstGen, artist Jan van IJken will screen his film, PLANKTONIUM, and prizewinning Carla Caro Villanova will speak from Spain about the European Union Contest for Young Scientists. The film will conclude in European style — meaning with a mini-lecture about the magic of quantum by physicist Carlo Rovelli. And finish with a contribution from Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth at the European Commission.
Mariya Gabriel: ”Leiden, European City of Science 2022 will be a bridge building new connections between science and society in innovative, open and playful ways. The ambitious programmes with 365-days of events has strong connections with the European Year of Youth, with highlights such as the European Union Contest for Young Scientist 2022!”
365 days of curiosity
Leiden will hold centre-stage for European Science in 2022. Leiden European City of Science 2022 presents activities, exhibitions, workshops, excursions, and events related to science, knowledge, art and skills. The aim is to connect science and society for a year by engaging the public with the world of science. The major issues of our time will be discussed during international conferences and scientific meetings. However, Leiden2022 will also keep the year exciting for local residents by focusing on a different intriguing topic every day. From international science conferences to local neighbourhood initiatives: Leiden European City of Science 2022 wants to share the world’s knowledge with the heart of society.
This year-long program will cover the entire knowledge spectrum, from fundamental science to citizen science. Some highlights to look forward to include the interdisciplinary EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) in July, as well as the European Young Talent Week in September, where young talents between the ages of 14-20 from all over the world come to Leiden for the 33rd EU final Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS). Additionally, a new talent program is being developed on behalf of the European Commission for young researchers aged 20-24. Scientific innovations in healthcare will be presented during the European Life Sciences & Health Week (May 28 to June 5), the connection between art and science will be explored during the ArtScience Week (September 12 to 18), and space travel and astronomy will be examined during the European Space Week (taking place from September 25 until October 2). In addition to this, through the local project ‘Knowledge through the Neighbourhoods’, an accessible public activity will be organised every day around one of the 365 interesting topics that have been suggested by the local community.
A platform for European knowledge
Ever since Leiden University was founded in 1575, the combination of international orientation, talent development, and knowledge sharing has ensured continuous change and innovation. It is therefore a logical step to name Leiden as a platform for European knowledge in 2022. The European character of this scientifically-themed year is reinforced by the presentation of the Public Engagement with Research Awards of the European Research Council in July 2022. On top of this is the partnership of the organisation with the cultural program: New European Bauhaus, which is part of the European Green Deal. The year 2022 is also known as the European Year of Youth. So, with its focus on talent development and the importance of future generations, Leiden2022 has also joined up with the European Year of Youth, solidifying its position as the European podium for science in 2022.
Leiden European City of Science 2022 is an initiative of four of Leiden’s leading knowledge institutions: Leiden University, the LUMC, Leiden University of Applied Sciences, and the Municipality of Leiden. The title of European City of Science is awarded by EuroScience in Strasbourg and the upcoming science-themed year has been realised thanks to contributions from the European Commission, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, Rabobank and Leiden & Partners in collaboration with many partners at local, national, and international levels. Leiden European City of Science 2022 has been organised by a specially established foundation led by director Meta Knol. This jam-packed program has been compiled by intendant Lucien Geelhoed.
About Leiden European City of Science 2022
Leiden2022 is an accessible 365-day festival that anyone who wants to share science, knowledge, art and skills can take part in — locally, nationally, and internationally. We make connections between science and society in an open, playful, and sincere way. Our motto? 365 days of curiosity!
Press release and images: https://leiden2022.nl/press