ESOF 2016 Opening Ceremony
ESOF 2016 has today officially opened, welcoming world-leading scientists, businesses, press, and science students to Manchester for the four-day conference. Based at Manchester Central, ESOF 2016 is the seventh iteration of the biennial conference, following on from the likes of Copenhagen, Barcelona, and Turin.
The opening ceremony kicked off with a piece of music specially composed by Tom Harrold of the Royal Northern College of Music which introduced the flags of the 83 participating countries represented at this year’s conference. Renowned Manchester physicist, presenter and author, Professor Brian Cox, took to the stage to address the packed conference hall and welcome everyone to Manchester.
Sir Richard Leese, the Leader of Manchester City Council, followed by outlining the recent plaudits for Manchester from around the world, before the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester, and ESOF 2016 Champion, Dame Nancy Rothwell drew cheers and applause from the crowd by declaring that "Manchester is a city that's open for business and collaboration".
Via live-video link, Professor Brian Cox introduced Tim O’Brien, Associate Director of Jodrell Bank, along with representatives of the Square Kilometre Array from Australia and South Africa, discussing the world-leading SKA radio telescope collaboration project. The EuroScience President Lauritz Holm-Nielsen then welcomed the delegates, followed by a science debate on the revolutionary CRISPR-cas9 with Dr Emmanuelle Charpentier and Professor Shiela Jasanoff.
Video messages from UK astronaut Tim Peake and national treasure Sir David Attenborough gave personal thoughts on ESOF 2016, before Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government welcomed the conference to Manchester on behalf on the UK Government. Professor Brian Cox closed the opening ceremony by reflecting on The Great Science Share, a day involving over 200 schools celebrating the wonders of science, and welcomed some of the young pupils onto the stage who shared their experience of the day and their excitement to be involved in science in the future.
Directly following the opening ceremony, the exhibition space officially opened, and delegates were able to enjoy the Robot Orchestra, a collaboration between Siemens and The University of Manchester, as well as the Human Sensor, a unique art exhibition by Kasia Molga featuring hi-tech clothing that responds to air pollution and the wearer’s breathing. The exhibition space highlights some of the leading science policy, industry, research institutions, and educational establishments in the industry.
The packed programme will continue until Wednesday, featuring a range of science sessions across areas including business, careers, keynote & topical, and many more.
Photo credit: Mark Wilkinson Photography and Paul Worpole Photography for ESOF 2016