Yesterday afternoon, the Euroscience Open Forum wrapped up in Dublin, when the city formally handed over the baton to the Danish city of Copenhagen, which will hold the next science conference in 2014.
Since ESOF kicked off in Dublin City last Wednesday evening, Dublin has been alive with science. The science conference, which was held at The Convention Centre – incidentally it claims to be the world’s first carbon-neutral conference centre – attracted more than 4,000 delegates from some 74 countries, including five Nobel Laureates.
The aim was to bring scientists, policy-makers, the public, innovators, entrepreneurs, futurists, and science journalists from all over the world together to discuss scientific and technological achievements, as well as the latest hot topics in science.
On Friday, for instance, CERN’s director-general Rolf-Dieter Heuer flew in from the particle physics conference ICHEP in Melbourne. He spoke at ESOF about CERN’s finding of the boson, which could be the Higgs boson particle.
Topics that were thrashed out at the conference included genomics, energy research, healthcare, maths, pharmaceuticals, astronomy and climate change.
Leading scientist in the field of genomics Dr Craig Venter also gave a lecture about developments in DNA research since the discovery of the structure of DNA back in 1953. Nobel Laureate James Watson was also at Venter’s lecture. Watson and Francis Crick unravelled the structure of DNA in 1953.
Yesterday, at the closing ceremony, the Irish Government’s chief scientific adviser Prof Patrick Cunningham spoke about how pitching to the Euroscience committee to host ESOF is a bit like pitching to the Olympics Council.
Before handing over the mantle to Copenhagen, he touched on a rather different type of meeting between Ireland and Denmark back in 1014 – the Dublin invasion by Danish Vikings who were driven back to their boats by Irish armies led by the Irish High King Brian Boru.
Cunningham wished Copenhagen all of the very best for ESOF 2014.
Prof Klaus Bock, ESOF 2014 champion for Copenhagen, then took to the podium where he described what will be in store in 2014 for the world’s scientific community.
He said the theme of the 2014 ESOF will be ‘building bridges’.
He also commended Dublin and said the organisers had shown some very good examples of new initiatives.
"Science Building Bridges will be a two-way communication between scientists, the public, young people, politicians, businesspeople. This is what we will try to achieve in Copenhagen," said Bock.
"We will have science for young people, for business, just as you have done in Dublin," he said.
And, in an extra twist, Bock said the 2014 conference will be held in the old Carlsberg brewery from 1847 that is positioned in central Copenhagen. He said ESOF there would signal the legacy and tradition of science and business.
"We will build on the great legacy of Dublin and hope for similar success in building bridges between science and society," said Bock.
But, it’s not all over for Dublin yet, as Dublin City of Science runs until the end of 2012.