Notable speakers discussing headline subjects – the congress stage will be graced by Latvia's most outstanding scientists at home and abroad

Viewing the list of participants of the 5th World Congress of Latvian Scientists, it is crystal clear that from 27 to 29 June, the sharpest brains with Latvian roots will gather in Latvia, along with a number of notable speakers from overseas. As they are so numerous and the topics under discussion so diverse, it is a tough task to pick and choose the most prominent events. Despite this, we have highlighted a few primarily because of the topicality of the subject matter.


These days, when discussing science, it is impossible not to talk about its commercialization. The whole world knows about Estonia's start-up ecosystem. The number of unicorns, or businesses worth over USD 1 billion in Estonia is the biggest in the world when viewed in the context of population size. Does Estonia also have its own research unicorns? Ilze Dimanta, a researcher at the University of Latvia's Faculty of Biology and the Institute of Solid State Physics (LU ISSP) will discuss this subject with the President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Dr. Tarmo Soomere. After the interview, a panel discussion on "Commercialization Science and Academic Reproduction" will take place in the National Library of Latvia's Ziedonis Hall. Participants in the discussion will include the Rector of Ventspils University of Applied Sciences Prof. Andris Vaivads, who recently returned from Sweden to work in the field of space, academician and newly-appointed Rector of Riga Technical University Prof. Tālis Juhna, and Anna Ramata-Stunda, a biologist by education, who has founded her own company Alternative Plants. This is a biotech enterprise that grows plant cell cultures, primarily from medicinal plants that are hard to find.


Energy supply will be among the topical subjects discussed by the speakers at the 5th World Congress of Latvian Scientists. They will address the question of what should Latvia's smart energy system should look like. The line-up of participants in this panel discussion, which will be held in the Ziedonis Hall on 28 June from 11.00 to 12.30 is truly outstanding and includes Prof. PhD Dr. Techn. Henrik Lund, Professor in Energy Planning at Aalborg University, Dr. Pauls Stradiņš, Principal Scientist and Member of the Scientific Committee at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (USA), as well as Associate Professor Elīna Pajuste.


Among the other subjects under discussion at the 5th World Congress of Latvian Scientists will be the influence of science. In a presentation in the lead-up to the congress, Ilze Dimanta and Anda Ķivīte-Urtāne, Associate Professor of the Department of Public Health and Epidemiology at Riga Stradiņš University, who are responsible for curating this section, acknowledged that this is one of the most wide-ranging topics for which it was imperative to choose the most appropriate content. Accordingly, on 28 June, several internationally renowned female scientists will take part in a panel discussion in which they will attempt to explain the influence of science. The discussion will be held in the Ziedonis Hall at 15.30, and the participants will be Prof. Julia Melkers, Prof. Diana Hicks, Dr. Glenda Kruss and PhD Agrita Kiopa.


Another subject to be discussed by the scientists at the congress will be digital transformation in the context of Industry 5.0 and Society 5.0. What can we anticipate from Industry 5.0 in Latvia and Europe? What changes could it bring to our society? Participants in this plenary session will include Seán O'Reagain, Deputy Head of the Directorate General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission and Prof. Oskars Ozoliņš. Joining them on stage will be Prof. Andris Ambainis, Dr.Phys. Andris Anspoks and Liene Briede.


The participants of the 5th World Congress of Latvian Scientists will include many names well-known in Latvia. For example, the topic of digitalization and democracy will be discussed by Assoc. Prof. Ivars Ijabs together with Dr. Indra Mangule, who both work at the European Parliament. Both scientists will be joined on stage by Iveta Kažoka, Director and Senior Policy analyst at the think tank Providus. Considering the future of digitization from a psychologist's perspective will be Prof. Ivars Austers, PhD Sanita Reinsone and Tilde Co-Founder and Executive Board Member Dr. Andrejs Vasiļjevs. An artistic note at the 5th World Congress of Latvian Scientists will be struck by Assoc. Prof. Kristiāns Brekte, who will take part in the opening plenary session together with Dr. Una Bergmane. In turn, during the grand opening of the congress, we will have the chance to listen to "Art in Science, Science in Art", a discussion between Prof. Vjačeslavs Kaščejevs and artist Voldemārs Johansons.


You can learn about all the speakers on the V World Congress of Latvian Scientists homepage here, while the programme can be viewed here.


The article was written within ERDF project No. "Integrated national measures to strengthen the representation of Latvian R&D interests in the European Research Area"