Communicating European Research

Brussels, Belgium – May 14 – 15, 2005

The conference was organised by The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and focused on the manifold aspects of science communication. The conference was officially opened by Commissioner  for Research, Mr Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Information Society, Mrs Viviane Reding and as a special guest by Asimo, the most advanced humanoid robot in the world. The Opening Ceremony was hosted by Mr Philippe Busquin. Around 2,100 participants, including project-coordinators, journalists and communication professionals as well as representatives from research organisations were present during the two-day conference.

The conference was shared between “main sessions”, “forum sessions”, “How to…? sessions” and media events. The main sessions were on various themes such as: “Science at school – lost cause or real winner?”, “Science by SMS serving science in a swift moving society”, “Science journalism in Europe: luxury or necessity?” or “Prospects and perils of science communication: the researcher’s experience”. Forum sessions provided subjects such as “How to reach the business media?” “Practical tips for Press officers” or “Communicate to the public: science festivals & science weeks”. “How to” sessions were dedicated to practical information on the way to communicate on research, media events and were dedicated to journalists.

In parallel with the conference, a major exhibition was held, hosting 244 exhibits on 9,000 m2. Many different subjects were presented such as research initiatives or communication strategies of research organisations. The exhibition was attended by many delegates as a complement to the programme. The exhibits were grouped in 4 themes: “EU projects”, “Professional services”, “International, national and regional research initiatives”, “Education, publications, public events”. ECTRI was present at the exhibition through a booth and experimented an interactive presentation which attracted many delegates to the stand who asked for some more information. ECTRI’s presence at this conference could be considered as successful.