Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden European City of Science in 2022

The title of European City of Science was officially handed over to a delegation from Leiden in the Italian city of Trieste on 6 September. Leiden will be the science capital of Europe for the year 2022. The EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), the largest interdisciplinary science conference in Europe, will also be held in the city.

Leiden will give expression to its status as European City of Science 2022 in two different ways: through a large science conference and a public programme that will have the motto ‘A little wiser every day’ and will focus on all the neighbourhoods in Leiden.

ESOF science conference

Leiden University has chosen two professors as local champions for ESOF: Corinne Hofman, former dean of the Faculty of Archaeology, and Ferry Breedveld, former chair of the LUMC Executive Board. Their ambition is for the conference to attract not only scientists but also laypersons who will enter into a discussion with these scientists. In her speech in Trieste, Hofman said: ‘With ESOF 2022 we want to emphasise the importance of science to society and, vice versa, the importance of society to science. We are seeking to involve and enter into a dialogue with citizens, politicians, entrepreneurs and opinion makers on how science works, what its added value and relevance to society is, as well as which questions need to be asked and how data should be interpreted.’

Young scientists

Breedveld emphasised the importance of involving young scientists in the conference: ‘Following in the ESOF tradition, they will receive plenty of attention. We plan to shed some light on aspects of career development such as: How do you overcome the difficulties you face when pursuing an academic career in 2022? How do you develop your own line of research? How do you deal with policy issues such as inequality, diversity and inclusion? And how do you combine the life of a modern citizen with a competitive working environment?’

For the conference programme, Hofman and Breedveld can rely on the support of a Science Council, with representatives from all the faculties:

  • Ewine van Dishoeck (Science)
  • Pieter ter Keurs (Archaeology)
  • Frits Koning (LUMC)
  • Rick Lawson (Law)
  • Hannah Swaab (Social and Behavioural Sciences)
  • Kutsal Yesilkagit (Governance and Global Affairs)
  • Rob Zwijnenberg (Humanities)

Knowledge through Neighbourhoods

Alongside hosting the conference, Leiden plans to present science to all parts of the city and in a host of different ways in its ‘Knowledge through Neighbourhoods’ programme. Henri Lenferink, mayor of Leiden, had the following to say about this in Trieste: ‘In 2022, Leiden will form the stage for the cream of European science. And true to its nature, Leiden has the ambition in 2022 to inspire as many curious people as possible with new knowledge. We are looking forward to a fantastic year of knowledge and science in Leiden.’

Welcome

The ceremony in Trieste concluded with a video about Leiden European City of Science 2022. Here the people of Leiden, including many Leiden academics, welcome their European colleagues to ESOF2022 from their own front doors.

Banner photo: Mayor Henri Lenferink at a previous talk about ESOF2022

Leiden European City of Science 2022

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