Oct 05, 2020

The city of Trieste recently hosted the 2020 edition of the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), a biennial, pan-European, general science conference dedicated to scientific research and innovation, organized through seminars, meetings and debates around the latest advancements and discoveries in the sciences, humanities and social sciences.

The event, previously scheduled for July 2020 and then postponed due to the health emergency, took place in Trieste from 2 to 6 September 2020 with an innovative hybrid format gathered top-quality scientific discussion that achieved resounding success among on-site and online participants.

Trieste is internationally renowned for the high concentration of scientific institutions. The city hosts overall more than 30 national and international centres and companies working in research and higher education, 5.000 permanent foreign scientists and some 13000 students and researchers.

For the first time in its history, with the 2020 edition, ESOF aimed at reaching beyond the national borders of its host country, relying on the city of Trieste, strategically positioned as the gateway between Central and Eastern Europe, to strengthen relations among scientists, entrepreneurs, policymakers and citizens of this multi-national area, thus making a crucial step towards a truly open and inclusive Europe.

ESOF 2020 was successfully in the global spotlight: online visitors came from 52 countries across 5 continents.

The event counted approximately 2.500 people registered; among these, more than 1.000 participated in person and 1.400 people connected remotely every day. On average each initiative was attended online by around 300 people, and the event saw 4.300 overall virtual visits.

During the conference, there was a particular focus on Science Diplomacy, with about 10 sessions dedicated to the topic and different projects; among them “Building Bridges”, “Scientific Diplomacy for Freedom”, and the issue of refugee scientists, with outstanding presentations by American economist Jeffrey Sachs, CERN Director Fabiola Gianotti, and Ghanya Al-Naqeb, from Yemen, who shared her personal experience as a refugee scientist.

WTC Trieste was Partner of the opening event “BIG BANG DATA”, focused also on Artificial Intelligence solutions applied to different branches of the economy.

This confirms that Trieste and the Mediterranean region are, quite rightly, fertile ground for merging different cultures, institutions and people moving towards a common future.