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Saint-Nicholas at the Halle Gate (02-12-2018)

This year, Saint Nicholas will once again visit the Halle Gate where he will welcome all children from his splendid throne under the mantelpiece. A great opportunity to visit the Halle Gate, a fabulous monument and, according to some children, the actual house the Saint stays at while in the Low Countries!
The Halle Gate remains the most remarkable witness of our capital city’s medieval chapter in history and offers a breathtaking view of Brussels from its ramparts. The Gate is definitely Kid approved with a knights and princesses drawing table, a medieval armour to try on and a quest to discover the secret corners of this fascinating building.



The Expert and Government Review for the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) takes place between 16 November 2018 and 11 January 2019. The Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL) can be reviewed from 19 November 2018 to 14 January 2019.
Interested experts can register via the IPCC website ( Participation of experts is very important for the quality of the reports.
For more information, please contact Martine Vanderstraeten, IPCC Focal Point.

IST-Africa 2019 Call for Papers
(Deadline 15 December 2018)

Supported by the European Commission and African Union Commission, IST-Africa 2019 (May) is the fourteenth in an annual series of Ministerial level Technology Research Conferences. The host country and dates in May will be published after Cabinet approval has been finalised.
IST-Africa provides a platform in Africa to strengthen ICT-enabled Innovation, Science and Technology related policy dialogues within Africa and between Africa and Europe, Global Development, Research and Innovation Cooperation and Community Building. It also provides an opportunity to identify potential partners for future research cooperation under Horizon 2020. IST-Africa is a unique community that brings together cross-disciplinary stakeholders from public, private, education and research, societal sector with end user communities focused on ICT and STI Research and Innovation.
Thematic areas include: eHealth/mHealth; Technology-enhanced Learning; eAgriculture/mAgriculture; eInfrastructures and NRENs; Energy; Next Generation Computing (Big data, Cloud computing, Future Internet, Internet of Things); eGovernment; Content Technologies (Languages, Digital Preservation); Cyber Security; Collaborative Open Innovation and ICT-enabled Entrepreneurship; Global Development including ICT4D and Societal Implications of Technology.


Summer time or winter time?
The Royal Observatory of Belgium informs

On August 31, 2018, the European Commission proposed ending daylight saving time. Belgium and its neighbors have to choose whether they will permanently stay at winter time or at summer time. The Royal Observatory of Belgium presents some astronomical documents and data in order to stimulate a reflection on this choice.


UNESCO MAB Young Scientists Awards
Application 2019
Submission of proposals 15/12/2018

Since 1989 MAB has been providing young researchers each year with awards of up to US$ 5,000 in support of their research on ecosystems, natural resources and biodiversity. Through the MAB Young Scientists Awards, MAB is investing in a new generation of scientists worldwide because we think well-trained and committed young people are key to addressing ecological and sustainability issues. The International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB-ICC) at its 29th session on 12-15 June 2017 adopted the new criteria and conditions for the selection of MAB Young Scientists Award winners in order to address the Lima Action Plan (LAP) for Biosphere Reserves and relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in applications. The deadline for submission of application forms for the 2019 MAB Young Scientists Awards is 15 December 2018..
More information...


48th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published on monday 8 October its special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial level.


The Ancient Observatory opens its doors on September 15 and 16, 2018

For the first time, the Ancient Observatory will be open to the public on September 15 and 16, during the Heritage Days of the Brussels Region.
This building, the first astronomy observatory in Belgium, was the first site of the Royal Observatory before it moved to Uccle in 1890.
This is a unique opportunity to discover a part of the history of astronomy and meteorology in Belgium!


Additional Call EHRI Fellowships

EHRI (European Holocaust Research Infrastructure), a Horizon 2020 project of which CegeSoma is a partner institute, offers the opportunity to do research for a few weeks as an EHRI fellow in a limited number of institutions, among which Cegesoma.
Conditions and modalities of the call can be found here.
Candidates must submit their application by 31 August 2018 at the latest.
Additional information: -


Space App Camp 2018

Space App Camp 2018 (17-24th September) registration is open now:
The European Space Agency (ESA) again invites 20 developers to their ESA ESRIN location in Frascati - including travel- and accommodation expenses.
Interested students-, researchers- or developers are able to register here until 30 July 2018. It’s a great opportunity for them to spend one week with like-minded people, gaining insights into the European Space Programmes, and learning how to enrich mobile applications with satellite data. The winner or winning teams will receive a EUR 2,500 cash prize and can apply for further incubation at one of the ESA Business Incubation Centres (BIC’s).


DARIAH Theme Funding Call 2018/2019

The DARIAH Theme is an annual area of focus chosen for investment by the DARIAH Board of Directors. In 2018, we focus our attention on the chronic problem of software and tool sustainability in the digital humanities, while also looking forward to the build phase of the DARIAH Marketplace for data, tools and services. Thus, this year’s focus is ‘Strategic Service Sustainability for DARIAH’.
Maximum allowable budget is €20 000.
Applications must be submitted on the ‘Sciencesconf’ platform:
and by e-mail to:
Deadline for submissions is the 9th of September 2018.


Zonnekijkdag op 1 juli 2018
Ontdek de geheimen van de zon

Op zondag 1 juli 2018 organiseert de Vereniging Voor Sterrenkunde vzw (VVS) de Zonnekijkdag. Die dag kan men op meer dan 22 plaatsen in Vlaanderen terecht om naar de zon te kijken. De bezoekers worden er uitgebreid geïnformeerd en kunnen er op een veilige manier naar onze zon kijken met telescopen.


IPCC - Review Special Reports

IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL) open for review.
The Expert Review of the First Order Draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL) will take place from June 11th. until August 5th. 2018. Expert Reviewers can register at up to a week before the end of the review period. The Expert Review of the First Order Draft is a key element of the IPCC assessment process. Experts from around the world will offer comments and suggestions to the author teams. The report authors address every comment received when they prepare the next draft, and the review process aims to include the broadest possible scientific perspective. BELSPO invites scientists to contribute actively to this process.
For more information, contact: Martine Vanderstraeten - IPCC Focal Point

Temporary closure Art & History Museum

The Art & History Museum is reinventing itself. Earlier we introduced a new name, now we are taking care of our buildings. If you’ve recently visited the Museum you probably noticed: we’re renovating. Because of these works we’ll be closing our doors to the public for a short period of time.

A refreshed museum, ready for the 21st century, with a mission to provide our visitors with a better museum experience. That’s the goal for the transformation started in 2018: a new name, a new approach, a new strategy and renovations. We want to give the biggest museum in Belgium a makeover and we want to enable our visitors to rediscover the treasures and priceless collections we have to offer.

These kind of renovations come with some hindrance: the museum will be closed starting on Monday the 25th of June up until the 17th of July. In the weeks prior to closing some exhibition halls will be less accessible or even be closed altogether for preparatory works. We advise visitors who are planning a visit to check our website. We plan to reopen our museum to the public on Wednesday the 18th of July.


IPCC - Review Special Reports

IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate open for review.
The Expert Review of the First Order Draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) will take place from 4 May until 29 June 2018.
Expert Reviewers can register at up to a week before the end of the review period. The Expert Review of the First Order Draft is a key element of the IPCC assessment process. Experts from around the world will offer comments and suggestions to the author teams. The report authors address every comment received when they prepare the next draft, and the review process aims to include the broadest possible scientific perspective. BELSPO invites scientists to contribute actively to this process.
For more information, contact:
Martine Vanderstraeten - IPCC Focal Point

Nicolas Party invited at the Magritte Museum

Several works by René Magritte are exceptionally crossing the ocean, for the exhibition “René Magritte: The Fifth Season” at the prestigious San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts (SF MoMA) from 19 May until 28 October 2018.
During this period, the Magritte Museum presents works of the contemporary artist Nicolas Party, who created a unique dialogue with Magritte’s fascinating universe. Nicolas Party’s playful and colorful creations – exclusively made for the Magritte Museum – will turn the place upside down!


Belgium and LaRa on their way to Mars

The planetary scientists at the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) are delighted to announce the signing of a contract between the European Space Agency’s PRODEX (PROgramme for the Development of scientific Experiments) programme and Antwerp Space for the delivery of LaRa (Lander Radioscience), a ‘martian’ instrument onboard ExoMars 2020.
Véronique Dehant, Principal Investigator of the instrument, comments: “I’m delighted by this signature, which is a major milestone after more than a decade of effort by the research team involved with LaRa. This is the last step before manufacturing and testing the LaRa flight model.”
LaRa will be the first Belgian instrument to be landed on the surface of Mars. Its radio transmitter and receiver will link Mars and Earth, enabling scientists at the Royal Observatory to study the rotation of Mars as well as its internal structure, with particular focus on its core. LaRa will be part of the platform of ExoMars 2020, a joint mission by the ESA and Roscosmos, Russia’s state space corporation.
“Antwerp Space is proud and honoured to manufacture this high-technology scientific instrument to be operated on the surface of Mars. It is also a recognition of the high technical competence of our teams involved in this wonderful adventure,” says Koen Puimège, Antwerp Space’s Managing Director.
A team at Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) is also involved in the project, in particular on the design of the high-performance antennas of the instrument.
Belgium and the Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO) fund the development and the manufacturing of LaRa through the ESA PRODEX program.


Space Summer School

June 25 until July 6, 2018 at SCK•CEN, Mol, Belgium
This Summer School is a multidisciplinary and international learning event for highly-motivated PhD students, early-stage researchers and professionals from a diverse range of educational and professional backgrounds (biomedical scientists, physicists, (bio-)engineers, …).
The following topics will be included in the course:
- Space radiation, radiation dosimetry and radiation protection;
- Impact of the space environment on human health;
- Life support and habitation in space;
- Instrumentation, hardware and nuclear energy in space.
A number of EU CONCERT grants to cover the registration fee will be available for PhD students.
Deadline for PhD grant application is May 11, 2018.
Deadline for registration is June 4, 2018. Registration for specific days is also possible


Summer School in Radiobiology, 13-24/8/2018, open for 16-20 years old students

Students, aged 16 to 20 years old, are invited to apply for the next edition of the 2 week Summer School in Radiobiology taking place at SCK•CEN from August 13 till 24 2018 to learn about the peaceful applications of radiation in the field of medicine, environment, space sciences & technologies.
If you know someone in this age range, in Belgium or abroad, with a very strong interest in these fields, and who has a good grasp of written and spoken English knowledge, please let them know about this course.
The course is given in English. The group of selected students will be restricted to 20.
Deadline for applications: May 18 2018.
This course has been run by SCK•CEN each summer for the last 10 years benefiting some years from the support of the European Commission because of its public utility for European citizens.


InSight’s launch: Belgium involvement in a new Martian mission

On 5 May 2018, a delegation of scientists from the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) will attend to the launch of InSight, a NASA mission to Mars.
The InSight mission (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) aims to study the interior of the Red Planet, which still holds many mysteries. The InSight lander will monitor the “Martian earthquakes”, as well as the internal temperature and the rotation of the planet.
For the first time, a Martian mission will try to detect “marsquakes”, by using the seismometer SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure), whose team includes V. Dehant, from ROB. Another instrument, a self-hammering heat probe, will burrow up to 3-5 meters under the surface to determine Mars internal temperature, a depth never reached during the previous missions.
The Royal Observatory of Belgium will also take part to the radio science data analysis of a third instrument, RISE (Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment). The radio signals exchanged between the Earth and RISE will allow tracking of the rotation variations of the planet, which reflect the structure of its interior. Pr. Véronique Dehant, responsible for the data analysis of RISE for ROB, will go to the Vandenberg Air Force Base (California) to attend InSight’s launch.
If everything goes as planned, InSight will take-off on May 5. Otherwise, the launch window is open until 8 June 2018. The Mars landing is expected to occur on 26 November 2018, and the mission will last at least 2 years. The instruments onboard InSight could work longer, along with the instruments of the ESA-Roscosmos mission ExoMars 2020. Then one could combine RISE data with those of LaRa (Lander Radioscience), the radio science instrument onboard ExoMars 2020, for a better scientific return. A team of the Observatory, led by Pr. Véronique Dehant, coordinates the conception of LaRa.
The radioscience research of the Royal Observatory of Belgium is funded by the Belgian Science Policy (Belspo) with the aid of the ESA-PRODEX program.


Belgian astronomers help to compile the most detailed 3D map of our Galaxy ever made

On 25 April 2018, the European Space Agency (ESA) announces the largest and most accurate 3-dimensional map of our Milky Way galaxy ever made. Using the Gaia satellite, the position and motion of more than a billion stars was mapped by a consortium of European astronomers, including scientists from the Royal Observatory of Belgium. This map will be a treasure chest to discover the structure, the history, and the future of our Milky Way Galaxy.


Copernicus Masters 2018
Copernicus Programme Provides Valuable Economic Benefits

Copernicus is Europe’s most ambitious Earth observation programme and provides full free and open access to data for the development of applications in a wide variety of domains. It is estimated that investments in the programme will increase to EUR 7.5 billion by 2020, while the economic benefit is expected to double in value. Every euro invested in Copernicus activities by public authorities, results in a EUR 1.4 benefit to the whole economy.
The Copernicus Masters awards applications and ideas that are using Copernicus data to tackle important challenges faced by business and society, with 2018 submissions opening 1 April.


Plastic pollution in our ocean
Tackling a mammoth task

Every Year, between 4.8.and 12.7 billion kilograms of plastic end up in the ocean. That is the equivalent of 35 shipping containers filled with plastic is dumped into the seas and oceans every hour - with disastrous effects for animals and vegetation. Science and society have to find solutions together!
The Ocean Plastics Lab is an exciting exhibition showcasing what science is doing to understand and combat the problem of plastics in the ocean. Visitors can find out more about the projects, experiment themselves and learn about citizen science initiatives.
This international travelling exhibition will open its doors to the Brussels public on the Esplanade SolidarnoϾ 1980, in front of the European Parliament from 9-19 April. It's open daily and free of charge! The exhibition content is available in English, French, Dutch, German and Italian.
The Ocean Plastics Lab is an initiative supported by the European Commission, the SEARICA Intergroup of the European Parliament and was initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) and is coordinated by the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM).

> 11-04-2018 Plastic pollution in our ocean - Tackling a mammoth task
> 17-04-2018 Plastic in de oceaan - Wat is het probleem en wat kunnen we doen?
> 18-04-2018 Plastique dans l’océan - Quel est le problème et que pouvons-nous faire?


D4D Digital for Development iChoose award – Make your vote count

The D4D prize aims at rewarding outstanding initiatives that use new technologies as a lever for development towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The D4D awards are an initiative of the Royal Museum for Central Africa, with the support of the Belgian Development Cooperation. In the category iChoose, six projects are presented through short video’s. Before May 11, the public is invited to score each video’s from 1 to 5 (highest score): The video with the highest score will get awarded the iChoose prize of 5000 €. By voting, you not only support your project of choice, but also the ambition to incorporate digitalization for development in the program of the Belgian Development Cooperation. In case you would like some inspiration before casting your vote, we are happy to present you the Geo-observer Network:

The Rwenzori Mountains, a remote, 5,000 m high mountain in central Africa (Uganda) is a region often affected by landslides, floods and other natural hazards. Studying these hazards to better understand the risks they produce is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in this region. The department of Geography of the VUB, the department of Earth & Environmental Sciences of the KU Leuven, and the Natural Hazards Service of the Royal Museum for Central Africa have therefore partnered with the Mountains of the Moon University (Uganda). With the support of VLIR-UOS, a network of citizen scientists was established, reporting on new hazards and their impact in their environment: Over 20 local farmers are trained to use a smartphone with a versatile application to provide structured data through the mobile network. Combined with other awareness raising tools and research efforts, the geo-observer data collection enables to develop evidence-based environmental planning and disaster risk reduction. This project is an example of how technologies can help to develop research with and by the local communities, especially in remote, disaster-prone environments. The video presented here is produced by our Ugandan colleagues and illustrates the work of the geo-observers across these Mountains of the Moon.
Thank you for your vote!



Belgian atmosphere instrument in excellent health after orbit corrections around Mars

Two years after its launch, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) finally settles in its final orbit around Mars. The satellite, which carries the instrument NOMAD of the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) on board, has just completed one year of atmospheric deceleration and is now circling around Mars every 2 hours, some 400 km above the Martian surface.
The Belgian instrument NOMAD, which will search for methane and other important gases in the Martian atmosphere, appears to have passed this period very well and is ready to start its scientific phase within a few weeks.


Job Opportunity: DARIAH Is Seeking to Appoint a Part-Time Member of the Board of Directors

DARIAH, the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities, is a pan-European organization, which aims to enhance and support digitally-enabled research and teaching across the humanities and arts. DARIAH is formally an ERIC, a European Research Infrastructure Consortium and is one of only 29 Landmarks on the Roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. To date, 17 countries – Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, The Netherlands, Serbia and Slovenia have become Members, while we also have a growing number of Cooperating Partners. DARIAH is therefore both an ambitious and still expanding organization, with six further candidate countries due to become members in 2020.
We are looking to appoint a part-time member of the Board of Directors from 01 September 2018, who will work closely with two other Board members, including the Chair of the Board. The Board of Directors is the executive body of DARIAH and its legal representative, also providing strategic leadership for our activities.


Nocturne MONKEYS
Film and debate The Vervet Forest

During the nocturne on 08.02.2018, we will show you the movie The Vervet Forest (in English), the story of five orphan baby monkeys and the struggle to save their home, followed by a debate (in English, French and Dutch)
With Josie Du Toit, co-director and rehabilitator at the Vervet Monkey Foundation (Tzaneen, nothern South Africa).


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