#ESOF2012 – Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins opens Euroscience Open Forum in Dublin

11 Jul 2012

Ireland's President Michael D Higgins

The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins has officially opened the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) in Dublin this evening. Taking place over the next four days, ESOF is set to be Europe’s largest general science meeting this year.

Higgins officially opened Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) 2012 at the Convention Centre in Dublin a few minutes ago.
ESOF will take place there until Sunday, 15 July.

More than 500 speakers are set to address more than 150 science, careers and business-to-business sessions, including Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science; Prof Rolf-Dieter Heuer, the director-general of CERN; NASA administrator Charles F Bolden, Jr; and Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former UN High-Commissioner for Human Rights.

This evening’s opening ceremony also featured the first keynote address of the conference by Nobel Laureate Jules Hoffman. He gave a talk entitled ‘From Insects to Mammals: Reflections on a European Journey Through Basic Research on Immune Defences’.

Hoffman is research director, with the National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS), France, and the winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology.

“With ESOF 2012 we are in effect bringing the Olympics of science to Dublin. With a focus on careers and business opportunities, this event will be a significant boost for Ireland’s growing international reputation for science and research,” said Prof Patrick Cunningham, chief scientific adviser to the Irish Government.

He spoke about how ESOF will create “significant” opportunities for both individuals and companies active in key areas of science, technology, engineering and maths.

“As the largest event of its kind in European research and science, ESOF 2012 in Dublin is an important milestone in Ireland’s science programme,” added Cunningham.

Over the four days of the forum, scientists, policy-makers, business leaders and the general public from across the world will be converging to discuss new discoveries and debate the direction that research is taking in the sciences in order to strengthen the links between science and society.
According to the organisers, the conference will cover major global scientific challenges, including health, food, genetics and climate change.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic