We are delighted to welcome you to the 2019 ESERA conference in Bologna, Italy, August 26-30, 2019.
It is a great honor for us to hold the most important conference on science education that we have in Europe. The first and last time that ESERA was organised in Italy was more than twenty years ago, in 1997, in Rome.
The theme we have chosen for this edition is “The beauty and pleasure of understanding: engaging with contemporary challenges through science education.”
We chose this theme for several reasons. The first is that Bologna is considered one of the most beautiful universities in the world due to its historical buildings. We hope that the beauty of the surroundings will inspire our research and create a pleasant context for the discussions during the conference. The second reason is that we think that beauty can be engine of transformation, change and authentic engagement in an increasingly complex world.
Climate change, multiculturalism, the flourishing of new interdisciplinary disciplines (like cognitive neuroscience, artificial intelligence, digital humanities), and the problematic nature of socio-scientific issues in a digital and post-truth era are just a few examples of the contemporary challenges that we will discuss during the conference. As science educators, we believe that understanding is the preferred way to address these challenges, but we also think that they are so deep and novel that they necessitate collectively searching for new narratives, languages and forms of beauty.
For all these reasons, we hope the theme can be intellectually stimulating, contributing to the creation of an overarching layer of reflection and infusing our discussions with a visionary spirit, projected into the future.
Inspired by the conference theme, we have selected four plenary presentations and a panel. Following the custom of previous years, the additional parallel sessions will include symposia, oral presentations, interactive poster sessions and workshops, organised according to the eighteen strands that characterise the richness of the research in the ESERA community.
Together with the Scientific and the Local Organising Committee, we are looking forward to seeing you in Bologna. We are working to create the conditions for a thoughtful and inspirational scientific environment, enriched by social events that will allow you to discover the magical atmosphere of the historical centre of Bologna.
If you wish to start experiencing the city of Bologna, you can find some tips here.
Enjoy the conference!
Olivia Levrini, ESERA 2019 Conference President
Giulia Tasquier, ESERA 2019 Conference Manager