ESOF2022 Themes & Tracks

The theme for the 10th edition of ESOF was: “Crossing the Borders, Engaged Science, Resilient Societies.

Societies of the 21st century are more connected than ever. The internet allows us access to unprecedented amounts of information and to communicate across borders far and wide, but we are also connected in other more fundamental ways, like the environment.

Last year’s theme stemed from a need to continue to break down geographical borders in order to share knowledge and collectively solve the complex, intertwined, and universal challenges that all societies encounter. “Crossing the Borders, Engaged Science, Resilient Societies” speaks directly to the necessity for scientific disciplines from the humanities, the social sciences, the natural, medical and physical sciences, and also people from all walks of life such as scientists, policy makers, the media, and the general public to unite, collaborate, and innovate. It is only by sharing a single vision for a sustainable future for people, society, and the environment can we overcome our current challenges.

The 7 Tracks of Crossing the Borders, Engage Science, Resilient Societies

Each of the seven tracks listed below is designed to cross borders, not only between countries and cultures but also between all scientific disciplines and the humanities.

There were a different keynote speaker for each of the seven tracks who highlighted their importance, difficulties, and opportunities towards achieving the conference theme.

The seven tracks for ESOF2022 were:

Sustainable Environment

A sustainable environment is one in which humanity and the planet’s biosphere are able to co-exist in the long term. The longevity of co-existence has been endangered in various ways over the course of human development. In 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to create awareness and accelerate the transition towards sustainability.

Cultural Identities & Societal Transformations

Events from grassroots social movements and migration to the creation of supranational entities like the European Union have questioned long-held beliefs of cultural identity, belonging, ownership, achievement, and pride. Science and art can play a vital role in leading and moderating the debates that arise and assist societial transformation.

Space for Science

The universe is the greatest of all imaginable physics laboratories. Cosmologists are rapidly changing the way we understand physics and the universe. Humanity is also embarking on a new chapter in space with the most ambitious plans involving manned missions to Mars and establishing bases and villages on the moon.

Healthy Societies

With life expectancy, demand, and the cost of healthcare on the rise, societies are facing major challenges to improve their health and mental wellbeing. Preventative care and healthy lifestyles are as important as reducing health inequalities in diverse communities.

Freedom and Responsibility of Science

The freedom of research and the independence of researchers and research institutions have shaped modern science for decades and are regarded as the basis for scientific advancement. Nevertheless, in view of the challenges arising from global pandemics and climate change, the scientific community is confronted with increasing societal expectations.

Science and Business

This theme will explore the many ways in which societal value can be created from research, with a special emphasis on education and entrepreneurship, as well as the role and opportunities of the humanities in the process.


Sustainable Academic Careers

Academia is the hub of knowledge and innovation but it suffers from conservative and outdated models for careers in the field. In the current system, early-career academics often feel overburdened, unfilled, and unappreciated, so there is a growing movement to rethink the system and discover new, sustainable academic career paths that promote inclusivity and diversity.