15 years LERU: bridging the world through science

07 March 2017

The League of European Research Universities (LERU) will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2017. To commemorate this occasion, LERU organises a pre-evening event in Brussels on Tuesday 7 March. It will provide a unique opportunity to mingle while being briefed about a subject of topical interest as analysed by leading LERU academics and research policy experts.

The event will be devoted to ‘science diplomacy’, an emerging term for an all but new issue: the interaction between science and diplomacy and the many challenges and opportunities arising from it. The use of science cooperation to improve international relations -science for diplomacy-, facilitating international science cooperation -diplomacy for science- and informing foreign policy objectives with scientific advice -science in diplomacy- (The Royal Society, 2010) have a decisive role to play in solving global and societal challenges and setting the future ahead. Being universities one of the pivotal actors in the twenty-first century landscape, their influence cannot go unnoticed. What is the role of universities in science diplomacy?

Experts will share their views with high-level representatives from universities, the US Department of State and EU institutions.


16.30 - 17.00h : Registration

17.00 - 17.10h : Welcome by Prof. Bert van der Zwaan, Rector Magnificus of Utrecht University and Chair of LERU

17.10 - 17.50h : Keynote speech by Dr Marga Gual Soler, Project Director of the Center for Science Diplomacy, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

17.50 - 18.20h : Panel discussion moderated by Prof. Rik Torfs, Rector KU Leuven

  • Mr. Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission
  • Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President of the European Research Council
  • Dame Nicola Brewer, Vice-Provost International, University College London 

18.20 - 18.50h : Q&A with the audience

18.50 - 19.00h : Conclusions by Prof. Kurt Deketelaere, LERU Secretary-General

19.00 - 20.00h : Reception

Register here


Crowne Plaza Brussels - Le Palace
Rue Gineste 3, 1210 Brussels, Belgium
(Google Maps)

How to get there


Bart Valkenaers, Policy Officer, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).