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Filter: Liffey Hall 2


Planting the seeds of genetically modified trees
    Thursday July 12, 2012 8:00am - 9:30am @ Liffey Hall 2

    Genetically Modified Trees (GMTs) can provide a high timber yield, and are a potential counter for global warming through carbon sequestration. The public in some countries remain sceptical about the need for genetically modified organisms. What are the researchers in this area doing to foster an informed public debate on these issues?
    The COST Action FP0905 is focusing on key aspects of GMTs related to biosafety: gene containment; gene targeting prior to the commercial introduction of GMTs into the environment; monitoring; socio-economic and cost-benefit analyses. Experts from this programme will discuss public concerns about the real and perceived importance and dangers of plantations across Europe from a scientific, societal, and policy perspective.

    Italian National Council of Research, Italy

     Environmental Research Consultant, UK

    GENIUS GmbH Wissenschaft & Kommunikation, Germany

    Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute (vTI), Institute of Forest...

    Purdue University, USA

    Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, UK

    Type Science Programme, Energy Environment & Climate
    Host Organization CNR - Plant Genetics Institute
  • Organiser Cristina Vettori
  • Tags SP5


Archaeology meets radioactive waste
    Thursday July 12, 2012 10:45am - 12:15pm @ Liffey Hall 2

    This session discusses the final repository of radioactive waste as an issue of global relevance at the interface of science and the humanities. Engineers are investigating safe ways to handle and store the radioactive spent fuel from nuclear power plants for at least 100,000 years to come. Archaeologists contribute to this planning process with a long-term perspective on human evolution, technological innovation and cultural change. Given that 100,000 years back in time humans did not share our own present-day capacity for abstract thinking, how are we best communicating the inherent dangers of radioactive waste to human beings who will live 100,000 years from now?

     Linnaeus University, Sweden

    Linnaeus University, Sweden

    Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co (SKB), Sweden

    French National Radioactive Waste Management Agency (ANDRA...

    Type Science Programme, Science & Culture
    Host Organization Linnaeus University
  • Organiser Cornelius Holtorf
  • Tags SP8


Keynote Address: Enrico Giusti "Touching the Abstract; Mathematics at the Museum"
    Thursday July 12, 2012 12:15pm - 1:15pm @ Liffey Hall 2

    Mathematics has always played a minor role, if any, within traditional science museums. Recently, a number of museums and centres entirely dedicated to mathematics and its applications have opened, among which Il Giardino di Archimede (The garden of Archimedes) in Italy (1999), and the Mathematikum (2000) in Germany. More are either planned or under construction, including the MaMuseum in New York.What part of mathematics can be shown in a maths museum? And more importantly: how? In my talk, I shall address these questions and discuss some of the possible answers in the light of the experience gained at Il Giardino di Archimede.


    Session Chair: Professor James Slevin, National University of Ireland Maynooth

    Curator at Garden of Archimedes, Italy

    Type Keynote Address
    Tags KN5


Water challenges for a changing world
    Thursday July 12, 2012 1:15pm - 2:45pm @ Liffey Hall 2

    The world's population is projected to grow from 6.1 billion in 2000 to 8.9 billion by 2050. Population increase will be dramatic in some urban areas, resulting in escalating demands for food, water supplies and sanitation services. This development implies a greater need for agricultural and urban water, and an increased capacity for treatment of pollutants. Climate change is projected to increase water shortages, with more frequent and severe droughts projected for many parts of Europe. Flood hazards are also projected to increase across much of Europe, particularly in its central, eastern and northern parts.
    These changes present a grand challenge that has outstanding economic, ecological, technological and societal implications. Consequently, action is needed at the European and World level to ensure sustainability of water use, to protect life and to fuel water technology markets. Multi-disciplinary research, development and innovation are required to generate the knowledge required to address the challenge and to set it in sustainable action.

    Catalan Institute for Water Research, Spain

    Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform, Belgium

    Joint Programming Initiative "Water Challenges for a Changing...

    Director General, Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland

    European Commision, Belgium

    European Centre for Environment and Human Health, UK

    Type Science Programme, Energy Environment & Climate
    Host Organization Joint Programming Initiative ''Water Challenges for a Changing World'''
  • Organiser Enrique Playan
  • Tags SP21


Turing's Legacy: From the Science of Computation to Machines that Think
    Thursday July 12, 2012 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ Liffey Hall 2

    Alan Turing is widely regarded as the father of Computer Science.  Working with the first electronic programmable computing device -- the Collossus -- at Bletchey Park in WWII, he was one of the code-breakers who cracked the Engima machine used by the German military. He was also responsible for informing the debate on how we could ever determine whether "Machines can Think".   Turing's answer was the so-called Turing Test, that if the machine could pass itself off as a person in some extended interaction then we would have to admit that it was effectively indistinguishable from a person and, therefore, could think.

    On the centenary of his birth it is fitting to re-assess Turing's Legacy.  Given the major advances in computing technology from the 1016 factor increase in computational power, to the development of highly advanced software systems, to the assembly of vast repositories of information both on and off the internet, it is timely to ask how Turing's views have impacted our understanding of computation and human intelligence. 

    This session will assess this question from the perspectives of Computer Science, Mathematics, Cognitive Science and Philosophy.

    • From the Computer Science perspective, Dr. Freddy Lecue (IBM) will discuss one of the most advanced artificial intelligence systems --- the IBM Watson system -- relating its success on the Jeopardy! general knowledge TV-game show.
    • From the Mathematics perspective, Prof. Marcus du Sautoy (Oxford University) will relate the mathematical origins of Turing's conception of computation.
    • From the Cognitive Science perspective, Prof. Mark Keane (University College Dublin) will show how aspects of human decision making (in buying shares) and creativity (in drawing analogies in Science) can all be cast as varied forms of computation.
    • From the Philosophical perspective, Prof. Dermot Moran (University College Dublin) will discuss the conditions under which something like the Turing Test could ever be accepted. 

    School of Philosophy, University College Dublin, Ireland

    IBM Research + Development, Ireland

    Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science...

    Chair of Computer Science, University College Dublin, Irelan...

    Type Science Programme, Reshaping the Frontiers of Knowledge
    Host Organization ESOF2012
    Tags SP95



The Future of Innovation Policy – Forging Policy in Uncertain Times
    Friday July 13, 2012 8:00am - 9:30am @ Liffey Hall 2

    A paradigm shift is underway on the part of many governments around the world as to the proper balance between government and the market. The 2008 Financial Crisis has acted as a catalyst for challenging the consensus among western policymakers that markets lead while governments follow. Internationally, governments are also realising that a hands-off approach will simply not be sufficient to address some of the world challenges (climate, energy, food etc.) that face us and that much more interventionist measures will be needed. One area in which the switch to a more hands-on approach from governments can be seen most clearly is in the area of innovation policy where the search is on for ways in which governments can more effectively prioritise support for research, development and innovation (RDI). Such so-called ‘smart specialisation’ strategies encourage each country or region to identify its best assets and potential in order to concentrate its resources on a limited number of priorities where it can really develop excellence, generate economic returns, and compete in the global economy. This session will examine the current state of play in Ireland’s RDI policy, including the recent Irish prioritisation exercise around State investment in research and development and the challenges and opportunities that this new paradigm presents.


    President, Dublin City University, Ireland

    Chef de Cabinet, Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn...

    Head of Science and Technology Policy Division, OECD

    Chief Executive, Forfás – Ireland’s Policy Advisory Body...

    Minister for Research and Innovation, Ireland

    Type Science Programme, Policy
    Host Organization Forfás
  • Organiser John Dooley
  • Tags SP29


Can Responsible Research and Innovation expedite Europe's economic renewal?
    Friday July 13, 2012 10:45am - 12:15pm @ Liffey Hall 2

    In this session a high-level panel will discuss the role that Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) can play in setting Europe on a growth trajectory that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.

    The panel will explore how the ideas and concepts of RRI can advance the Innovation Union initiative. In simple terms, the Innovation Union, a flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 strategy, aims to turn ideas into jobs, to generate green growth and to stimulate social progress.

    The following questions will be addressed during the discussion:

    1. How can the principles of RRI be incorporated into real policy instruments?
    2. What are the implications of RRI for industry: SMEs and multinationals?
    3. What opportunities or competitive advantage does RRI open up for industry?
    4. What are the implications if our global trading partners do not adhere to the same standards of RRI?



    Director, Policy and Communications, Science Foundation Irel...

    Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher...

    Deputy Head of Cabinet Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn

    Type Science Programme, Policy
    Host Organization ESOF2012
    Tags SP33


Innovative Medicines Initiative: How European cohesion will help to promote IMI's education and training programmes
    Friday July 13, 2012 1:15pm - 2:45pm @ Liffey Hall 2

    The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) was launched in 2008 as a large-scale public-private partnership between the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) to boost the development of new medicines across Europe. The IMI education and training pillar has been developed to ensure that Europe’s biomedical education landscape is enhanced to allow for innovation and Europe’s global leadership in future medicines research. The European Medicines Research Training Network (EMTRAIN) is tasked with establishing a pan-European platform for education and training that covers the whole life-cycle of medicines development. A large part of this work has been the development of a free post-graduate biomedical course catalogue called on-course®. Harmonizing European training programmes by expanding the network in all European member states and associated countries is aimed for minimal bureaucracy to allow maximum flexibility and mobility between countries. Emerging challenge occurred in the development of a strategic plan to ensure sustainability of education and training projects from IMI and its positioning in future funded frameworks offered by Horizon 2020.

    Session Topics:

    1. IMI: opportunities and challenges (Prof. Michel Goldman),
    2. Balancing act between European and nationally-funded projects with regard to training and Horizon 2020 (Dr. Dimitri Corpakis),
    3. IMI Education and Training expansion plan (Frederik Wittock),
    4. On-course: expected impact on Europe's landscape of training in medicines development (Dr. Tony Payton).


    University of Manchester, UK

    Senior Director Communications, Janssen Pharmaceutical, Belg...

    Executive Director of the Innovative Medicines Initiative, Europe   Michel...

    Head of Unit, Regional Dimension of Innovation, European Commission...

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization Innovative Medicines Initiative
  • Organiser Gouya Ghazaleh
  • Tags SP40


Saving science education
    Friday July 13, 2012 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ Liffey Hall 2

    This interactive workshop aims to identify common challenges and success stories about engaging children in science. The session organisers have set up an electronic forum in advance of ESOF 2012 and are keen for participants to join the debate on the issues facing science education globally, as well as asking their own questions. The workshop will present a summary of these discussions and details of initiatives already underway. Participants will be encouraged to remain connected through the electronic forum after the conference to form new consortia and share best practice.

     London South Bank University, UK

    University of Roma Tre, Italy

    London South Bank University, UK

    University of Roma Tre, Italy

    Österreichisches Ökologie Institut, Austria...

    Type Science Programme, Engagement & Education
    Host Organization London South Bank University
  • Organiser John Meadows
  • Tags SP47



What should Europeans eat?
    Saturday July 14, 2012 8:00am - 9:30am @ Liffey Hall 2

    From a food-cultural viewpoint, Europe is far away from being a homogenous area. Some regions in Europe (e.g. the Mediterranean countries) have really long cultural traditions, and some are much younger (e.g. the Nordic countries). National and regional diets may be approached from a cultural viewpoint, but diet is also an essential part of our health. Besides having really strong and cultural roots, the Mediterranean diet has also repeatedly been connected to good health.
    Other European regions are clearly less famous for their diets. However, some areas could perhaps challenge the Mediterranean diet. The Nordic countries have some dietary specialties with potentially great health effects: wild berries (e.g. blueberries, lingonberries and cranberries), rye and rapeseed oil. This session will address the following questions:

    1. What and how are we eating in different parts of Europe?
    2. What are the regional strengths and weaknesses regarding health effects?
    3. Where do Northern, Western and Southern Europe meet, do we have a common intersection for improved diet and health in Europe?

    Harokopio University, Greece

    National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland

    University of Helsinki, Finland

    Medical Research Council, UK

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization Academy of Finland
  • Organiser Risto Alatarvas
  • Tags SP55


Can we feed 9 billion people or will we starve?
    Saturday July 14, 2012 9:30am - 10:45am @ Liffey Hall 2

    By 2050 the global population is expected to reach 9 billion, with the majority of this increase in the developing world. In order to feed these people it is estimated that a historically-unprecedented rise in food production of at least 50% will be needed. The question is how can we do this, when we cannot adequately feed the ~1 billion people who are starving today?

    This session will assemble some of the foremost experts involved in meeting the challenge of tackling global hunger. Two internationally renowned scientists - Bill Davies and Jonathan Jones- will address the key challenges of how to enhance food production in the face of limiting water supplies and the increased threats of pests and diseases. Bill Davies is an expert in water use by crops and Jonathan Jones is a key player in the development of disease resistance in plants. Chris Leaver, is Emeritus Professor at Oxford University and currently engages in public understanding of science, particularly issues associated with food security. Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern, will talk on hunger and poverty in developing countries.



    Lancaster University, UK

    University College Dublin, Ireland

    University of Oxford, UK

    John Innes Institute, UK

    European Plant Science Organisation, Belgium

    Concern Worldwide

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization University College, Dublin
  • Organiser Bruce Osborne
  • Tags SP58


Euroscience General Assembly and presentation of Rammal Award
    Saturday July 14, 2012 10:45am - 12:45pm @ Liffey Hall 2

    The formal business of the General Assembly will be followed by addresses from two distinguished speakers, the award ceremeony and a reception. These events are open to all conference participants:


    1. The importance of European Science and Science-based Policy Making (Prof. Anne Glover),
    2. The importance of SESAME for scientific and political cooperation in the Middle East and the Mediterranean (Prof. Sir Chris Llewellyn-Smith),
    3. Rammal Award Ceremony,
    4. Reception (Wicklow Room 4).


    Euroscience has been responsible since 1999 for the attribution of the Rammal Award created in memory of the great Lebanese physicist, Rammal RAMMAL (1951-1991). The medal is awarded each year to an outstanding personality of strong scientific stature from one of the Mediterranean countries, who, through his life and activity (whether in fundamental or applied research, teaching, or the integration of knowledge), has elevated scientific exchanges in this part of the world, rich with ancient tradition. The Award can also be shared by several recipients, and/or awarded to an organisation.

    Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission...

    President of Euroscience

    Secretary General of Euroscience

    Chair of the Board of SESAME

    Type Events
    Host Organization Euroscience
  • Organiser Peter Tindemans
  • Tags EP4


Are there realistic alternatives to animal testing?
    Saturday July 14, 2012 1:15pm - 2:45pm @ Liffey Hall 2

    Current toxicology testing practice has to change – the paradigm is outdated and needs to shift to meet the needs of modern society. Raised social and political expectations for a safer environment and a healthier life, an economic situation that needs innovation rather than strangulation, the emergence of completely new classes of substances such as nanomaterials, and heightened public concerns about animal testing, have created a strong impetus to break with traditional methods. There are considerable regulatory pressures too. From 2013, any type of animal testing on cosmetic products and ingredients will be banned in the EU. In the industrial chemicals sector, legislation (REACH) clearly discourages animal testing and promotes the use of data from alternative methods, if available and sufficient to satisfy hazard information requirements. To date, almost 140 million Euro has been invested by the Commission to advance the development and validation of methods supporting the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, refinement of animal testing) but it has advised in recent communications that current science and tools are far from facilitating a transition to animal-free toxicity assessment.
    What does this mean for industry and their ability to innovate? What does it mean for the development of new materials and technologies? How for example will we be able to fully exploit nanotechnologies in sectors such as food, textiles and cosmetics if we lack validated and harmonised methods to test their safety to human health and the environment? These are significant challenges that only science can address. But where should scientists focus their efforts, and what research strategies might deliver success where we have failed in the past?

    German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Germany

    DABMEB Consultancy Ltd, UK

    Liverpool John Moores University, UK

    European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Belgium

    University of Düsseldorf, Germany

    Type Science Programme, Reshaping the Frontiers of Knowledge
    Host Organization German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Joint Research Centre - European Commission
  • Organiser Andrea Haase
  • Tags SP64


Keynote Address: Kári Stefánsson "Understanding the Heel of Achilles"


The emerging role of inflammation in diverse human diseases
    Saturday July 14, 2012 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ Liffey Hall 2

    Increasingly, the role of inflammation is being recognised as a critical driver of disease. Inflammatory mechanisms are now known to underlie not just classical autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, but also cardiovascular disease and cancer. Even obesity is recognised to have an inflammatory component. Equally, there have been enormous advances in our understanding the biochemistry of inflammation and how cells respond to stimuli that evoke this response.

    National Institutes of Health, USA

    University of Massachusetts, USA

    Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

    Trinity College Dublin, Ireland Chairman of the ESOF2012 Programme...

    National Institute of Health, USA Founder of the NIH-Oxford/Cambridge...

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization National Institutes of Health
  • Organiser John O'Shea
  • Tags SP72



Ageing: from genome to sex
    Sunday July 15, 2012 8:00am - 9:30am @ Liffey Hall 2

    According to the WHO, in almost every country the proportion of people aged over 60 is growing faster than any other age group. Old age is increasingly associated with many chronic diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disorders, thus presenting an important socioeconomic burden. It is therefore crucial to identify appropriate interventions to keep the aging population healthy.
    In this interactive session four prominent scientists join forces to shed light on different aspects of the underlying causes of ageing from the genomic level to other contributing factors such as metabolism, hormones and 'sex'. Throughout the session, they will debate on key questions such as: 'how do our genes contribute to aging?', 'what is the contribution of hormones and other factors to the development of aging?', 'what are the differences in the development of aging at the level of the population and in particular between the two sexes?

    Uppsala University, Sweden

    European Research Council

    European Research Council, Belgium

    University of Birmingham, UK

    CECAD Cologne, Germany

    University of Sheffield, UK

    Type Science Programme, The Future of Medicine & Health
    Host Organization European Research Council
  • Organiser Carmen Garcia Fernandez
  • Tags SP76


Adaptation or extinction? Responses to radical climate changes
    Sunday July 15, 2012 10:45am - 12:15pm @ Liffey Hall 2

    Climate Change is already transforming life on Earth. Around the globe, seasons are shifting, temperatures are climbing and sea levels are rising. We face widespread species extinctions, ocean acidification, and other large-scale shifts. Few topics have attracted more attention, polemic and debate than finding a common agreement on what are the events that trigger these changes and what are the responses in this rapidly changing world.
    How will the Earth respond to these changes? What have we learned from the past and how can technology help us in the future? Join three outstanding scientists funded by the European Research Council (ERC) to debate the answers to these questions.

    European Research Council

    European Research Council

    University of Oviedo, Spain

    Swansea University, UK

    Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Italy

    Type Science Programme, Energy Environment & Climate
    Host Organization European Research Council
  • Organiser Carmen Garcia Fernandez
  • Tags SP81


Lost in translation
    Sunday July 15, 2012 1:15pm - 2:45pm @ Liffey Hall 2

    Scientists are often at the forefront of raising public awareness of difficult and complex issues. They frequently fail to get their message across effectively. How can they frame their messages so that they create resonance with the intended audience?
    Social scientists, psychologists and scientists attempt to answer these questions and explain why communicating science is difficult.
    This session will tackle a critical problem head on with a panel who will explore how to communicate effectively, using the very difficult examples of climate change and nuclear weapons as case studies.

    University College London, UK

    Department of Energy and Climate Change , UK

    Instituto Balseiro, Argentina

    Psychotherapist and writer, UK   Ro Randall is a psychoanalytically...

    Type Science Programme, Communicating Science
    Host Organization British Pugwash Group
  • Organiser Carol Naughton
  • Tags SP88


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