ERC holds event with Nobel Laureates

On 5 march, the European Research Council held its "Nobel Prize Dialouge" event in Brussels. Nobel Prize Laureate and EuChemS Gold Medal recipient Ben Feringa participated in the event.
Marton Kottmayer,

Jointly organised by the ERC and by the Nobel Prize Outreach, the event tackled the challenges global democracy is facing via inputs from a wide range of prestigious speakers – including a number of Nobel Lauerates, such as Ben Feringa. The topic of democracy was chosen in light of 2024 being a year when more than half of the global population is eligible to vote in elections all across the globe – including the European Parliamentary Elections, which will take place in 6-9 June.

Ben Feringa was a member of two panels: one discussing the relations between AI, Science and society, and another on the values of democracy. He was discussing these topics with representatives from policymaking, innovation industry, journalism and other recipients of the Nobel Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize. This resulted in a wide range of interdisciplinary conversations. Speakers addressed the use of AI in science contrasted with the challenges it poses towards democracy and its regulation, as well as collective wisdom, critical thinking in science and beyond and last but not least, the connection between science and democracy – which was defined as intertwined: Feringa said (praising ERC grants) that a democratic society is needed for science to be free to ask critical questions, while fellow Nobel laureate Paul Nurse said that science is critical in providing the knowledge for a functioning democracy.

The recording of the full event can be accessed here.

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