STOCKHOLM—The forecast was for rain, but a sunny morning greeted the first day of the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) in Stockholm today, a welcome sight for the more than 1500 researchers, policymakers, and others who journeyed to Europe's cool north in the last few days of summer vacation time.

The unexpectedly clement weather might also have been a good omen for the organizers of the inaugural meeting, who have set themselves the ambitious task of creating an interdisciplinary forum "for open dialogue, debate, and discussion on science and technology in society."

ESOF was largely the brainchild of Carl Johan Sundberg, vice president of EuroScience. The original idea "was to create a platform where people in Europe could discuss science in a way that they don't usually do—with a European dimension, encountering people they rarely otherwise meet," he told The Scientist. "Basically to bring people together."

That philosophy certainly matches...

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