#esof2012: science and porridge in Dublin

T. V. Padma

T. V. Padma
South Asia regional coordinator, SciDev.Net



The ESOF (EuroScience Open Forum) season kicks off again from Wednesday and I am looking forward to this biennial event on European science. ESOF presents Europe’s leading research trends in natural and social sciences, and peeks at the future of research and innovation, from European scientists’ perspectives.

If we cast the geographical boundaries aside for a little while, we find that several topics resonate across developed and developing countries sooner or later. I can off-hand cite geoengineering, genetically modified crops, nuclear safety, food security and energy security. A SciDev.Net team will try to pick topics that strike a chord back home in Africa, Asia and Latin America, though it will be impossible to cover all topics.

The ESOF sessions in Dublin this year also offer a heady mix, from black holes and the string theory to genomics; science and art; to science and the future of cuisine. Add to that keynote addresses by an unlikely duo of DNA guru James Watson and Irish ‘Boomtown Rats’ singer Bob Geldof (on different days) and you will see why I had to head to Dublin.

Did I mention science and cuisine? At the Dublin ESOF, there is also time for ‘porridge with the professor’, a session when young scientists get to catch up with their senior colleagues informally. The good professors had enjoyed the salmon in Stockholm, the typically Spanish ‘tapas’ in Barcelona (ESOF 2008) and a pizza in Turin (ESOF 2010), while offering career guidance to young scientists.

I would have expected them to have had a shot at the Irish whisky in Dublin (and those with some humour even do a stand-up comedy act that Dublin is famous for), but on second thoughts,  perhaps high spirits and stand-up comedy acts do not a serious scientific career make. Porridge is a safer bet.

This blog post is part of our ESOF 2012 blog which takes place 11-15 July, 2012. To read news and analysis on themes related to the conference please visit our website.

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