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Leiden launches Europe’s first year long science festival

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Leiden2022: European City of Science.

2022 has officially begun, and it has brought along a number of events to look forward to throughout the year – one of which is the year-long science festival that is being hosted in Leiden, which has been named the European City of Science 2022. 

Leiden2022 is a 365-day science festival for everyone who has a sense of curiosity. Scientists from Leiden University will be making a major contribution.

On 10 November, Leiden2022 presented the programme for the coming year, when Leiden will be European City of Science.
A tear-off calendar, a special beer (a sip of science), a new website for the festive launch in Naturalis are just a few of the things planned.

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There were warm messages from Paris (Shamila Nair-Bedouelle from Unesco), Brussels (EU Commissioner Jean-Eric Paquet) and The Hague (Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven from Education, Culture and Science).

The three main elements of the programme were presented: 

  1. 365 days for the curious-minded: interesting activities will be organised every day in neighbourhoods in Leiden and the surrounding villages, and on local radio. You can find the topics on the tear-off calendar.  
  2. EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), the biggest multidisciplinary conference in Europe, will be held from 13-16 July in Leiden.  
  3. EUCYS, a competition for talented young scientists up to the age of 24 will be held from 12-18 September in Leiden. 

Tear-off calendar

All the activities that are part of Leiden2022 will have their own QR code. The QR code is also the Leiden2022 house style. The tear-off calendar, which will be available free of charge in the coming period, features a different subject every day, each with a QR code that will take you to the website showing the day’s programme. 
At the launch, Meta Knol, director of Leiden2022, told us that the website currently already has about 10% of its future content, but the programme will be finalised and added to the website in the coming months.  

The University’s contribution

As the biggest knowledge institution in Leiden, the University is making a considerable contribution to the Leiden2022 programme. Below are some examples from the programme:  

ESOF conference

From 13-16 July, national and international researchers will be holding debates with policymakers, public officials, people from the business sector and journalists during the ESOF conference. EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) is Europe’s biggest multidisciplinary scientific conference.

EUCYS: young researchers

EUCYS is the EU Contest for Young Scientists. National winners will be chosen in over 40 countries who will meet up in Leiden in September 2022.

365 days of curiosity

Every day you have the chance to find out more about a topic that arouses your curiosity: online, on radio and through activities in Leiden or the surrounding area. For many of these activities, Leiden scientists will be sharing their knowledge interactively with visitors of all ages. Here are a few examples from the varied list of events:

a) 2 January: Robots
b) 21 February: Mother language
c) 23 April: Earth

Life Sciences & Health Week

For a week in June 2022, Leiden will be the European stage for everything to do with medicine development and health.

Researchers and healthcare professionals will come together for a scientific debate while the public can delve into the wodrous future of medicine and disease prevention.The week is being organised by Leiden knowledge institutions, companies and the Leiden Bio Science Park.


In 2022, Leiden will be the venue for dozens of different conferences. The League of European Research Universities (LERU) will be celebrating its 20-year anniversary with a conference in Leiden (19-20 May) on the theme of the role of research-intensive universities in creating a resilient and sustainable society.  

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    Ankita Deshkar

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