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It’s been an amazing week in Manchester, UK where the ZME Science crew, along with hundreds of other journalists, scientists, students, policymakers, all-around science enthusiasts and even royalties attended the EuroScience Open Forum 2016 (ESOF16).

Professor Brian Cox chats with youngsters during a debate at the opening ceremony of the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Sunday 24th July 2016. An image from the media reception of the EuroScience Open Forum at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Tuesday 26th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

Professor Brian Cox chats with youngsters during a debate at the opening ceremony of the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Sunday 24th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

Although less known across the ocean, this biannual event is a bonanza of science, friendly discussions and fun. Artificial intelligence, Manchester’s poster child — graphene –, women in science, and of course #Brexit were among some of the main topics of discussions here in Manchester, the city which split the atom. But science communication seemed to have been on everybody’s lips at this event, signaling that the scientific community is finally moving full throttle in an attempt to fix what’s probably most lacking in today’s scientifically adverse and illiterate society. In a recent post for ZME, Andrei wrote about these sort of ESOF echoes.

Elsewhere in the city, Mancunians relished in a science spectacle that saw them interact with all sorts of events that taught them about the environment, space exploration, graphene, super foods and more.

This was truly a marvelous week, and I’m happy to have been part of it. We’ve already written quite a few words about ESOF16, with more full-length features to come about some of the most exciting science we saw there. But first, I caught up with some folks attending the event and got their impressions, featured here along with some eye candy photography from the event.

Dignitaries and guests at the opening ceremony of the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Sunday 24th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

Dignitaries and guests at the opening ceremony of the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Sunday 24th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

“I’m not a scientist, but I got loads of inspiration; loads of scientific knowledge that I didn’t have before. Loads of optimism, I suppose — about the future, science collaboration, not only in this country but throughout Europe,” James Curran, designer at Beyond Visual.

Brian Cox and the ESOF audience at the conference's opening ceremony. Copyright © Enna Bartlett 2016

Brian Cox and the ESOF audience at the conference’s opening ceremony. Copyright © Enna Bartlett 2016

The ESOF Party taking place at the Albert Hall in Manchester as part of the EuroScience Open Forum. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

The ESOF Party taking place at the Albert Hall in Manchester as part of the EuroScience Open Forum. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

“To be honest, I would really rate it almost a ten out of ten so far. I know the people who organize this event as well, I’ve been working with them closely over the last couple of months. The sessions are absolutely extraordinary. I love the atmosphere here and the fact that you can just literally walk up to three Noble Prize winners, and Brian Cox as well, and have a conversation with every single one of them — really good conversations as well. Everybody just takes time. You meet the best people here. You can just meet them — I’ve never experienced something like that. So I’ve learned an awful lot. The booths, the stands of the organizations represented here — absolutely amazing. I mean, Nature, AAAS, etc. Absolutely incredible really! And then the party was an actual party. Wow! It’s pretty crazy, and the whole atmosphere around it. It’s really almost a ten out of ten, for me.” Mario Gruber, social media marketer and science communicator, Wakelet.

The ESOF 2018 Toulouse stand in the main exhibition hall at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Wednesday 27th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

The ESOF 2018 Toulouse stand in the main exhibition hall at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Wednesday 27th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

The Research in Estonia stand in the main exhibition hall at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Wednesday 27th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

The Research in Estonia stand in the main exhibition hall at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Wednesday 27th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

The Europe goes to the planets stand in the main exhibition hall at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Wednesday 27th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

The Europe goes to the planets stand in the main exhibition hall at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Wednesday 27th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

“The sessions I attended were exciting — I also intervened in one to ask questions. It was about using nanomaterials to enhance the human body. The debates around scientific discoveries were exciting.” Stephanie Lacour, legal scholar, National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).

The Siemans stand in the main exhibition hall at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Wednesday 27th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

The Siemens stand in the main exhibition hall at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Wednesday 27th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography.

Sir Andre Geim in conversation with John Lloyd in the Exchange Auditorium as part of the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Tuesday 26th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

Sir Andre Geim in conversation with John Lloyd in the Exchange Auditorium as part of the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Tuesday 26th July 2016.Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

(l-r) Reto Schneider, Marc Abrahams and Sir Andre Geim listen to Elisabeth Oberzaucher at a session titled 'What's so funny about science?' in Charter 1 at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Monday 25th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

(l-r) Reto Schneider, Marc Abrahams and Sir Andre Geim listen to Elisabeth Oberzaucher at a session titled ‘What’s so funny about science?’ in Charter 1 at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Monday 25th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

“In general, I must say that I have very positive feelings about the event. I enjoyed all the sessions. My only critical note would be that there were way too many sessions, and way too many opportunities, and one person can’t cover all of them.” Marika Kůrová, Czech Liaison Office for Research, Development and Innovation (CZELO).

An image from the media reception of the EuroScience Open Forum at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Tuesday 26th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

An image from the media reception of the EuroScience Open Forum at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Tuesday 26th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

The panel for " Britain's Biggest experiment: the prospects for scientific collaboration post-Brexit." Credit: Paul Worpole Photography

The panel for ” Britain’s Biggest experiment: the prospects for scientific collaboration post-Brexit.” Credit: Paul Worpole Photography

“I think it’s a very nice opportunity to get insight into the European mixture of science. Of course, it covers everything from climate, through biology, data science, to even career sessions, so you get a great overview. It’s nothing very specific but I really liked it.” Janick Weberpals, PhD student, German Cancer Research Center.

Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan speaks at a session titled 'How we visualise large molecules and why that is important' at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Monday 25th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan speaks at a session titled ‘How we visualise large molecules and why that is important’ at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Monday 25th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

An image from the media reception of the EuroScience Open Forum at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Tuesday 26th July 2016. Matt Wilkinson Photography

An image from the media reception of the EuroScience Open Forum at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Tuesday 26th July 2016. Matt Wilkinson Photography

Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science & Technology Studies, Harvard Kennedy School speaks at session titled 'CRISPR, democracy and global citizenship' at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Monday 25th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science & Technology Studies, Harvard Kennedy School speaks at session titled ‘CRISPR, democracy and global citizenship’ at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Monday 25th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

A panel discussion during the 'Women in Science: how to reboot the system?' session at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Monday 25th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

A panel discussion during the ‘Women in Science: how to reboot the system?’ session at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Monday 25th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

Cocktails are served at the Manchester Science Partnership stand in the main exhibition hall in Manchester Central at ESOF 2016 in Manchester, United Kingdom on Wednesday 27th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

Cocktails are served at the Manchester Science Partnership stand in the main exhibition hall in Manchester Central at ESOF 2016 in Manchester, United Kingdom on Wednesday 27th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, ESOF 2016 Champion at the media reception of the EuroScience Open Forum at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Tuesday 26th July 2016. An image from the media reception of the EuroScience Open Forum at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Tuesday 26th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, ESOF 2016 Champion at the media reception of the EuroScience Open Forum at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Tuesday 26th July 2016. An image from the media reception of the EuroScience Open Forum at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Tuesday 26th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

Photo Courtesy of © Enna Bartlett 2016

Photo Courtesy of © Enna Bartlett 2016

A session titled 'Life after a PhD - what does industry want from you' takes place in the Exchange Hall at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Monday 25th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

A session titled ‘Life after a PhD – what does industry want from you’ takes place in the Exchange Hall at the EuroScience Open Forum at Manchester Central, in Manchester, United Kingdom on Monday 25th July 2016. Credit: Matt Wilkinson Photography

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