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The European Science Foundation (ESF) is an association of 80 Member Organisations devoted to scientific research in 30 European countries. It is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organisation facilitating cooperation and collaboration in European science on behalf of its principal stakeholders (Member Organisations and Europe's scientific community). It has been established in 1974. The ESF offices are in Strasbourgmarker, Francemarker(headquarters), and in Brusselsmarker and Ostendmarker, Belgiummarker.

The ESF Member Organisations are research performing and research funding organisations, academies and learned societies across Europe. Together they represent an annual funding of about €25 bilion.

The ESF provides a platform for foresighting and research networking on a European and global scale to the ESF member organisations. According to its mission and strategic plan the European Science Foundation runs foresighting programmes in science, programmes to enhance science synergy (i.e.: research networking programmes and collaoborative research projects for European scientists) and activities dedicated to science management (such as providing administrative services to independent scientific committee and other organisations). ESF provides the management structure and administration for the European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technological Research COST. The ESF networking and foresighting activities are carried through 5 scientific standing committees and 6 expert boards and committees:

  • European Medical Research Councils ( EMRC)
  • Standing Committee for the Humanities ( SCH)
  • Standing Committee for the Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences( LESC)
  • Standing Committee for Physical and Engineering Sciences ( PESC)
  • Standing Committee for the Social Sciences ( SCSS)

  • Marine Board - ESF([61318])
  • European Space Sciences Committee ( ESSC)
  • European Polar Board ( EPB)
  • Committee on Radio Astronomy Frenquencies ( CRAF)
  • Nuclear Physics European Collaboration Committee ( NuPECC)
  • Material Science and Engineering Expert Commitee ( MatSEEC)

Regular ESF instruments are:
  • Forward Looks: foresight studies
  • Exploratory Workshops: scientific workshops on emerging science fields and new topics
  • Research Networking Programmes: 4-5 year network projects, accompanied by exchange grants and short term visits for scientists
  • EUROCORES (European Collaborative Research scheme): a bottom-up programme, where the research topics and other strategic issues are identified by scientists. The funding of particular EUROCORES programmes remains at national level, but is synchronised within participating countries
  • The ESF Research Conferences: conference series on selected topics together with a European partner as co-funder
  • Science Policy Briefings: position statements and recommendations on various science policy issues (e.g. ethical use of animals in research, the use of human cells)
  • Members Organisations Fora: issue-related venues for the ESF Member Organisations (and others as appropriate) to develop joint actions on topics of broad relevance.

The European Science Foundation awards the annual European Latsis Prize.

ESF Chief Executives
  • 1974-1979 Lord Flowers
  • 1980-1984 Hubert Curien
  • 1985-1990 Eugen Seibold
  • 1991-1993 Umberto Colombo
  • 1994-1999 Sir Dai Rees
  • 2000-2005 Reinders van Duinen
  • 2006-2007 Ian Halliday
  • 2007 John Marks
  • 2008- present Marja Makarow

Position Paper on Climate Change

In 2007, the ESF issued a position paper on climate change in which they stated, "There is now convincing evidence that since the industrial revolution, human activities, resulting in increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases have become a major agent of climate change. These greenhouse gases affect the global climate by retaining heat in the troposphere, thus raising the average temperature of the planet and altering global atmospheric circulation and precipitation patterns." The paper concluded, "While on-going national and international actions to curtail and reduce greenhouse gas emissions are essential, the levels of greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere, and their impact, are likely to persist for several decades. On-going and increased efforts to mitigate climate change through reduction in greenhouse gases are therefore crucial."

See also


  1. European Science Foundation Position Paper Impacts of Climate Change on the European Marine and Coastal Environment - Ecosystems Approach pp. 7-10

External links

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