Scientific Themes

ESOF 2014 will have eight scientific themes that will be recurrent through all of the programme tracks. The eight themes are listed below.

The Healthy Society

In recent years, scientific and technological developments have contributed to major progress in the health of individuals and for societies at large. What are the future roads to increased health in the world? How will science, technology and innovation contribute to this development? Where are the major challenges and possibilities?

A Healthy Society from Alphafilm on Vimeo.

A Revolution of the Mind

Brain research and cognitive neuroscience have opened our understanding of the human mind. What should we use the knowledge for? What are the consequences for thinking and practice in academic, political and commercial life? And should new knowledge of the brain change our conception of human beings?

A Revolution of the Mind from Alphafilm on Vimeo.

Global Resource Management

Natural resources are essential for sustaining basic human welfare, e.g. drinking water and food. Moreover, for most industries some natural resources are necessary to manufacture products, e.g. metals, rare earths, water and bio-materials. The need for resources is stressing ecosystems and economic development. How can scientific and technological developments secure an effective and timely response for the global need for resources? How can resilience be built in?

Global Resource Management from Alphafilm on Vimeo.

Learning in the 21st Century

Well-educated and knowledgeable citizens are essential for inclusive and vibrant societies. But what are the skills and knowledge needed in the future? And how should we learn them – are the days of national,
educational systems over and does science and technology offer ways to improve our ways of learning?

Learning in the 21st Century from Alphafilm on Vimeo.

Green Economy

According to key parameters, the climate system is already moving beyond the patterns of natural variability. Many researchers, politicians, businesses and interest groups have responded with a call for a green economy that bridges continued economy growth and a sustainable, global ecosystem. Can science and technology deliver on this transition?

Green Economy from Alphafilm on Vimeo.

Material and Virtual World

The fundamental understanding of materials has shifted the borders of engineering and production. Moreover, the breakthroughs in information and communication technologies have altered our perceptions of what constitutes reality. Where will the next scientific breakthroughs take us?

Material & Virtual World from Alphafilm on Vimeo.

Urbanization, Design and Liveability

Forecasts claim that the future will be urbanized. So the grand challenges need to be faced in an urban setting. Moreover, the cities need to sustain and enhance urban areas as a place of vitality, liveability and accessibility – how can science, technology and innovation support the design of solutions?

Urbanization, Design & Liveability from Alphafilm on Vimeo.

Science, Democracy & Citizenship

Science and scientists can facilitate, interrupt or enrich democratic decision making. When should science be the privileged provider of knowledge and when are scientists citizens? What should be the division of labour between facts and norms; between science and democracy?

Science, Democracy & Citizenship from Alphafilm on Vimeo.