ESOF2022 & SciCom & Johns Hopkins Universit

Johns Hopkins University Technical Press Briefing

EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), Leiden, The Netherlands 13 – 16 July, 2022
11h00 – 11h30, Thursday 14 July, JW Schaapzaal, Stadsgehoorzaal.


This technical press briefing is being given exclusively, as a world first, to Euroscience Open Forum 2022 Leiden by Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing & Microphysiological Systems Center (MPS).

On behalf of a growing global network of experts, one JHU speaker is joined remotely by a senior research colleague and live in Leiden by a leading scientist from technology provider Hesperos. Flown in especially for this event, the latter will demonstrate how they achieved the first human drug trial based on MPS models without animal data (bios below).


Announcing a New Blueprint for Global Ethics & Principles of Science & Society Informed Policy-Making

EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), Leiden, The Netherlands 13 – 16 July, 2022
14h00 – 15h15, Thursday 14 July, 2022: Lorentz Stage – Leiden.


This important ESOF2022 session unveils the World Science Forum 2022 Cape Town Programme for the first time. Organised by WSF Steering Committee Members under the auspices of the government of South Africa, it also includes as a speaker Prof. David Budtz Pedersen to give an update on the Cape Town Declaration on Science for Social Justice process on behalf of an independent, grass roots collective.

The Cape Town Declaration on Science for Social Justice (CTD) is a decadal-long initiative (2012 – 2022), to codify a unique blueprint for a new set of ethics and principles to inform work at the boundary between science, society and policy. This bridges the February 2017 launch of the five-year, mid-term Brussels Declaration on Ethics & Principles for Science & Society Policy-Making at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Annual Meeting (AAAS), to the final stages of ongoing work towards its pan-African inspired equivalent.


The New Drug Policy Commission for Central & Eastern Europe & Central Asia

EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) Proposal, Leiden, The Netherlands 13 – 16 July, 2022
14h00 – 15h15, Thursday 14 July, 2022: Lorentz Stage – Leiden.


Moderated by the FT, this panel assesses how the goal of a ‘drug-free world’ backed by a ‘war on drugs’ anchored in ‘science’ and enshrined in international drug control treaties is naïve and dangerous. Naïve, in that prohibition has little impact on drug use, up 45% in twenty years. Dangerous, in that prohibition fuels coerced drug treatments, incarcerations, extrajudicial killings, the death penalty, drives human rights abusers for profit, and contributes to record drug-related deaths. Strict drug laws stoke blood-borne viruses and escalate health epidemics such as HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis, or the overdose crisis. Prohibition also limits access to life-saving harm reduction treatments, limits research on medical uses of illicit substances and blocks the prescription of pain relief and palliative medication.

Speakers include elected politicians past and present, leaders of global funding and public health institutions, policy-change experts, medical doctors, pioneering researchers and importantly, activists in the field. They will first challenge why, despite surging drug use and infections, EU policies remain dissonant and under the radar. Brussels is simply not prioritising tackling this health crisis, nor allocating sufficient funding, nor leading globally on the issue like it did in the past. The panel will issue a call to action at ESOF for greater take-up by all EU27 of compelling harm reduction science, sadly non-existent in some member states.


Science Under Pressure Conference

Science Advisory Mechanism (SAM) & Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA)
14h00 – 15h30, Thursday 28 April, 2022: Room 1, 1st Floor, NHow Hotel Rue Royal 250, Brussels.
Special Question-Time Debate Organised By: The International Network for Governmental Science Advice (INGSA) & The International Science Council (ISC)


As the main conference concludes, this open debate unites delegates including politicians, chief science advisers, diplomats, researchers and science-interested citizens, to examine how scientific advice feeds into effective policymaking, or not. Their premise is that if the 9/11 attacks changed our lives from the perspective of state security, then Covid-19 must leave a similar legacy for the future of robust policymaking as a shared public good. Or must we accept the dumbing-down of ‘evidence’ and a ‘snapback to normal’ in our post-pandemic politics?

For those believing in the integrity of science, recent years have been challenging. Information, correct and incorrect, spreads like a virus. For those believing in STI as the oxygen of democracy, recent weeks have been harrowing. The war in Ukraine demonstrates, more than ever, that the international science establishment stands stronger together. Speakers argue that open science and data have never been more critical. They underscore what is at stake in the relationship between science and policymaking. From the medicines we take to the education we provide, this relationship and the decisions it influences, matter immensely.