In addition to big European science events, the Science in Society (SIS) Programme supports many other initiatives that take place at science museums, science centres and other forums to connect with the general public with scientific achievements. Examples of both are provided below.
While demand for scientists and researchers is rising, the number of young people taking up scientific studies and careers is falling. Events that inspire and encourage young people are therefore more important than ever.
The annual European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) is one of Europe's premier showcases for young scientific talent. It brings together winners of national competitions (young people between 14 and 21 years of age) to compete for prizes and distinctions.
The event gives these young scientists of the future much more than just the opportunity to present their research and ideas, and to compete for a European prize. It enables them to engage with their peers from different countries that have a similar passion for science and to meet some of Europe's foremost scientists.
This emphasis on exchange and dialogue among young people from different countries has particular relevance to modern science's growing need for international cooperation and collaboration. A specific international prize was introduced under EUCYS for the first time in 2008, highlighting the significance of cross-border scientific collaboration to the young participants.
Since its inception in 1989, EUCYS has showcased the work of hundreds of young scientists from across Europe, and has established itself as a springboard for talented young scientists, many of whom have gone on to develop careers in scientific domains.
Open to the general public, the biennial Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) is an opportunity for leading and emerging scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators, politicians and policymakers, media, and science and technology (S&T) communicators to discuss the direction that research is taking across the sciences. Specifically, the aims of ESOF are to:
Science journalism plays a fundamental role in informing and educating the public on scientific developments and their social applications. Along with the opportunities inherent in communicating science today, there are also challenges and risks. The European Science Journalism Forum (ESJF) offers journalists, researchers and science communicators the opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges relating to communication of science in the 21st century.
The SIS Programme also supports projects that promote a closer dialogue between scientists and the public at large, in a variety of innovative ways.