The Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF), Europe’s largest science festival, draws to a close later today.

For the past six days, the city of Copenhagen has welcomed over 4,000 scientists, policymakers, media and entrepreneurs, for the sole purpose of talking about science, innovation and research

By Will Goodbody, RTÉ's Science & Technology Correspondent 


ESOF is a biennial event, with the last one taking place in Dublin two years ago.

Those who attended both say with more than 130 sessions in the scientific programme, not to mention side events and the “Science In the City” showcase, Copenhagen had a lot more content than Dublin.

However, it did lack some of the buzz of ESOF 2012, perhaps because it was spread out across a large number of venues in the Carlsberg district of the city.

Conferences are generally not the greatest source of news, as speakers often come to discuss and debate, rather than announce.

That said, a reasonably steady stream of news did flow from the event – much of which we reported on, and which you can review from this page.

We had an update from the Director General of CERN on its plans to restart the Large Hadron Collider next year and on Ireland’s review of its non-membership.

EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn announced the start of a consultation on a new era in scientific openness and collaboration – Science 2.0.

Details were released of two new papers in Nature group journals – the first about a ground-breaking development in solar cell technology and the second a big data analysis study of disease trajectories in Denmark.

The EU Commission’s science unit, the Joint Research Centre, published details of a new study it had carried out on the effects of climate change caused by global warming on the economy and people of Europe.

The Director of Research at Copenhagen zoo gave a spirited defence and justification of his decision to kill a giraffe earlier this year and feed it to lions, all in the name of species conservation.

While there were provocative debates on topics like e-cigarettes, killer robots and the potential value of mining the moon.

A handful of Nobel laureates delivered keynote addresses about their work, while Irish scientists contributed to panel discussions on topics as diverse as big data, urban life and food fraud.

There was undoubtedly a strong message from the conference that science needs to be and is becoming more open.

Indeed the organisers claim it sent out a signal that open access to publications, greater use of open databases and cross-disciplinary knowledge-sharing has become the most crucial driver to research, education and innovation.

This afternoon the official handover ceremony took place, with Manchester taking on responsibility for organising ESOF 2016, in the same year as it becomes the European City of Science. It’s a combination that could see this still relatively young but quickly maturing global science festival, finally come of age.

@willgoodbody

Watch/Listen:

Morning Ireland:

Europe's largest science forum gets under way
The ethics of putting down healthy animals

News At One

Attack of the killer robots

Six One:

Positive signals for Irish CERN membership
Irish scientists say wars in future could be fought by robots
Tofu chemical could make solar energy cheaper

Extended Interviews:

CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer

Professor Noel Sharkey: Robot wars

Professor Peter Krustrup: Health benefits of high-intensity sport

Copenhagen zoo's Bengt Holst: Conserving endangered species

Síle Lane: Sense About Science

Eimear O'Carroll: Restored Hearing

Henrietta Anderson: Active Living Science

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