Location & dates EMBL Heidelberg, Germany 4 - 5 Nov 2020 Register Now
Deadlines Registration - 23 Sep 2020

Coronavirus information for participants

The onsite course and conference programme at EMBL has been paused until the end of June 2020.


We aim to continue offering our advanced training for the scientific community however we safely can. While some events have been cancelled, many have been rescheduled for a later date and others will be delivered as virtual events.


Registration is open for onsite courses and conferences starting after 1 July and for the virtual events. All registration fees for any events which don’t take place due to the COVID-19 disruption are fully refundable.


More information for participants of events at EMBL Heidelberg can be found here.

Conference Overview

There have been five mass extinctions in Earth’s history, but are we already in the midst of a sixth? At least one million animal and plant species are currently threatened with extinction, many within decades – a rate unprecedented in human history.

To what extent, however, can we measure loss of biodiversity across scales, or accurately identify the causes of mass extinction? And how will this development affect the planet? More importantly, perhaps, is the question of whether scientific and societal interventions can effectively tackle this issue. Will initiatives such as the UN’s “Decade on Ecosystem Restoration” really provide solutions to the problem?

The 21st EMBL Science & Society Conference in 2020 seeks to address these questions. It will consider the impact of environmental changes on biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human well-being. Crucially, it will focus on potential solutions and types of action: from activism to political strategies, and from local grass-roots conservation groups to global youth movements. It will also evaluate the application of various targeted intervention methods across data science, emerging technologies, sustainability solutions and beyond.

Session Topics

  • The anthropocene extinction: scientific overview
  • The environmental and societal impact of mass extinction
  • Scientific and societal responses to mass extinction

For more information about previous meetings in this series please check the Science and Society Website.

What past participants say about the conference:

"A scientist must find time to step away from the lab table and question scientific practices more broadly. Without conferences like these, we would lack a forum to do so and would be blind toward potential improvements." - Joshua Yudice, Brandenburg University of Technology, Germany

"The event was greatly organized and very interesting. All the speakers' presentations were outstanding and the discussions very stimulating. I loved the possibility to talk to the speakers during the social moments." - Anna Sofia Tascini, IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, Italy

EMBL Courses and Conferences are kindly supported by our Corporate Partnership Programme

Founder partners

  • Leica logo
  • Olympus logo

Corporate partners

  • 10x Genomics_120x82
  • Becton Dickinson logo
  • Bio-Rad logo
  • Boehringer Ingelheim logo
  • Eppendorf logo
  • GSK logo
  • Milteniy Biotec logo
  • Stilla logo
  • ThermoFisher logo

Associate partners

  • Merck logo
  • New England Biolabs logo
  • Nikon logo
  • Promega logo
  • Roche logo
  • Sanofi logo
  • Sartorius logo