European Science Foundation's Forward Look reaches out beyond the endless frontiers

The Forward Look scheme, the European Science Foundation (ESF)s strategic flagship instrument that aims to formulate science agendas and policies with Europes best interest in mind, has initiated and nurtured 13 foresight exercises that help develop medium- to long-term perspectives on future directions of multidisciplinary research in Europe. The instrument, which was originated from the ESF Strategic Plan 2002-2006, is currently seeking input for new topics from the ESFs member organisations and the scientific community; in a further push for continuing the contribution to science development within the European Research Area (ERA).

This foresight format is eminent by its double nature: on the one hand it allows scientists in search for a vision beyond the frontiers of their disciplines to spot challenges and rewarding fields ahead, and on the other hand it supports research organisations to identify agendas for improving science policies on national and European levels, commented Dr. Christoph Ettl, Associate Director of the ESF, who is engaged in the selection process for Forward Look topics.

(Click http://www.esf.org/publications.html for Looking Beyond, a concise analysis of the ESF Forward Look scheme)

(Click http://www.esf.org/activities/forward-looks.html for more information on the Forward Look scheme)

Future Forward Looks

In the development process for future Forward Look topics, the ESF has recognised the scientific community should play a more active role. In accordance with this approach a new set of selection procedures for Forward Look topics have therefore been adapted to ensure a careful choice, while taking into account their relevance at an international level.

Under the realigned procedure the five ESF Scientific Committees, embracing all scientific disciplines,

Contact: Christoph Ettl
European Science Foundation

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