The first day of ESOF 2012 began with a welcome reception followed by the opening ceremony in The Auditorium at the Convention Centre in Dublin. President Michael D Higgins gave a poetic speech which had the audience enthralled.
This was followed by the eloquent Professor Patrick Cunningham, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government and our Galwegian Gaelgóir in Europe, Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. The Euroscience President, Enric Banda, said a few words before there was an unexpected entertaining interlude, involving lots of traditional Irish music & dancing by Rhythm Corporation.
The Government were also represented by Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Seán Sherlock,Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Jobs & Innovation and Department of Education & Skills with responsibility for Research & Innovation.
Master of ceremonies, Dara O’Briain, was his usual wonderful witty self, encouraging visits to Irish pubs and vast consumption of Guinness by the visitors to help keep the economy afloat.
The charming Professor Luke O’Neill from Trinity College gave a warm introduction to the first keynote speaker, Nobel Laureate 2011 Professor Jules Hoffmann. His keynote address was entitled “From insects to mammals: reflections on a European journey through basic research on immune defences”.
There are many brilliant blogs worth checking out including The Frog Blog.