EuroScience Open Forum Key speakers

EuroScience Open Forum 2016: key speaker announcement

Organisers of the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) 2016, held in Manchester this summer (July 24-27), have announced some of the top speakers who have confirmed involvement in one or more of the 125+ programme sessions to be delivered during the conference.

With up to 600 speakers from over 55 countries expected to contribute, the diverse line-up is a reflection of an exciting programme covering nine scientific strands as well as standalone science to business and careers programmes.

Healthy populations is one of the largest strands at ESOF and will explore issue such as personalised medicine, child well-being, microbiomes, humanitarian medicine, eHealth and data issues and antimicrobial resistance. The strand includes a topical session on epidemics featuring Dr Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer at Johnson & Johnson, Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline and will be moderated by BBC global health correspondent Tulip Mazumdar.

Professor Brian Cox, broadcaster and physicist from the University of Manchester heads up the host city contingent. He will be joined by Nobel Laureate graphene pioneers, Professor Sirs Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim who will be a key draw for sessions within the material dimensions strand, which will explore the applications of graphene and other 2-D materials, structural materials, nanomaterials and nanofabrication, functional materials, quantum and statistical physics, substitution of critical materials and biomaterials.

Two additional Nobel Prize winners will deliver keynote speeches during ESOF: structural biologist and President of the Royal Society, Professor Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, and Professor Ada Yonath, best known for her pioneering work on the structure of the ribosome.

Recipients of the L’Oréal-UNESCO “For Women in Science” Award also feature heavily across the programme and include Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier best known for her role in deciphering the molecular mechanisms of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 immune system; Dame Athene Donald, Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Cambridge and Master of Churchill College, Cambridge; and Professor Reiko Kuroda who investigates left-right asymmetry within both inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry.

Science policy is always a prominent strand at ESOF, giving delegates the opportunity to debate how we should structure, finance, manage, regulate and deliver science and innovation. This year the strand will include sessions featuring Professor Sir Mark Walport, UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser and Sir Chris Llewellyn-Smith, President of the SESAME Council and former Director-General of CERN. Current Director-General of CERN, the Italian particle physicist Dr Fabiola Gianotti will also contribute to a session featuring leaders of the EIROforum organistations.

The science to business programme is also set to be a popular draw at ESOF 2016 due, in part, to its inclusion of industry pioneers including Dr Hermann Hauser, founder of Amadeus Capital and Dr Ruth McKernan, Chief Executive of Innovate UK. The strand will provide an opportunity for industrialists, researchers, policy makers and business/academia support organisations to engage with one another, learn, network and debate the issues surrounding the exploitation of breakthroughs in science and to share ideas and best practise for improving the commercial outcomes from research.

Other headline speakers and well-known names within science disciplines include:

  • Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General of DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission;
  • Professor Dame Anne Glover, Vice Principal for External Affairs and Dean for Europe at the University of Aberdeen;
  • Professor Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School;
  • Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation;
  • Naledi Pandor, South African Minister of Science and Technology;
  • Professor Michel Kazatchkine, UN Secretary General’s Special Health Envoy and Member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy at the United Nations;
  • HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, Princess of Jordan and Chair of the World Science Forum 2017;
  • Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President of the European Research Council;
  • Professor Michael Wood, historian and broadcaster;
  • Professor Sir Peter Gluckman.

Commenting on the line-up, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, ESOF 2016 Champion and President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Manchester, said: “Early feedback on the ESOF 2016 programme has been overwhelmingly positive and I contribute this, in a large part, to the strength and diversity of our speakers, many of whom are world-leaders in their individual scientific fields.

“To have such highly esteemed colleagues interacting with up to 4,000 additional delegates here in Manchester is an incredibly exciting prospect. Manchester has always considered itself a city where great minds meet and for those four days in July – and hopefully the many months and years that follow – this will certainly be the case.”

Further details, including the full ESOF programme, can be found on the website:   

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