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).
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.
“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.
“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 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).
“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.