Throughout the year, EMBL hosts and organises a multitude of events, seminars and lecture series across its six European sites that are open to the general public as well as non-EMBL scientists.

Science and Society programme

Science and Society programme

The Science and Society initiative at EMBL aims to promote a better and broader understanding of the growing social and cultural relevance of the life sciences. We organise a variety of activities and events where members of our scientific community, scholars from other disciplines as well as members of the public meet to engage in a dialogue.

The formats of the programme range from the annual EMBL-EMBO joint Science & Society Conferences, to regular forum lectures, symposia, discussion meetings and the Heidelberg Forum "Biosciences and Society".

Recent highlights

24-25 October 2019 EMBL Heidelberg Science as Storytelling: From Facts to Fictions
15-16 November 2018 EMBL Heidelberg Infectious diseases: Past, present, and future
3-4 November 2016 EMBL Heidelberg 17th EMBL | EMBO Science & Society Conference: The Past in the Present – The Making of Memories
Friends of EMBL

Friends of EMBL annual programme

The Friends of EMBL initiative is an entry portal for the interested public and a diverse group of life science aficionados. EMBL researchers are on a constant quest to discover more about the science of life. To make this fascination accessible to a broad and public audience, EMBL holds a number of events as part of the Friends of EMBL annual programme. We invite you to participate in the Science Movie Night, our Friends of EMBL event open to the general public, and pass on the inspiration you receive to your own networks. By doing so, you are making a key contribution to our cause. To find out more about other Friends of EMBL events, visit our Support EMBL pages

More information on the EMBL Discovery Pages

Recent highlights

16 May 2019 Heidelberger Karlstorbahnhof Science Movie Night: Pacific Rim
28 September 2018 EMBL Heidelberg Science Movie Night: The Martian
17 May 2018 EMBL Heidelberg Science Movie Night: Contagion
Distinguished Visitor Lecture

Distinguished Visitor Lectures

For the EMBL Distinguished Lectures series, which started in the 1990s, eminent scientists in biology are invited by EMBL to give a lecture of broad interest on their work.

Upcoming lectures

Open days and anniversaries

Open days and anniversaries

Every couple of years, EMBL invites members of the public to visit the Laboratory during an Open Day or join us in various anniversary celebrations. Please see below for some impressions from past events.


2014 EMBL 40th Anniversary
2013 EMBL Heidelberg Open Day 2013
Life is amazing – the EMBL Visitor Experience

Life is amazing – the EMBL Visitor Experience

The diversity of animals, plants, microorganisms and all living systems results from a common core of information interpreted through millions of different biochemical pathways. Understanding how it all works, from the genome to ecosystems, is an enormous challenge – but that is what we do.

Together with Haley Sharpe Design, EMBL has been working on an exhibition design concept since 2017 to create a visitor experience at EMBL Heidelberg. The EMBL Visitor Experience will highlight the importance of curiosity-based fundamental research for a non-scientific audience, and will show how EMBL’s research is relevant to everyone.

The EMBL Visitor Experience will be a vibrant, interactive discovery centre celebrating molecular biology research as well as the scientists and technologies that enable this research. It is due to open to the public in 2021/2022. We are still seeking funding to realise the implementation (technical design and build) of the concept. The Visitor Experience will be located within the new EMBL Imaging Centre on the EMBL Heidelberg Campus. We invite the public to get excited about science in an authentic research environment – in the midst of our scientists and state-of-the-art imaging technology.