Theme year


The 2016-17 academic year is the ‘Louvain Year of Scientific Adventure’. By choosing this theme, UCL highlights the fundamental challenge of research for the future of society.

‘Adventure’ means taking risks in order to expand the limits of knowledge. Such intellectual risk-taking has been at the heart of our university and the education it affords for almost six centuries. ‘This theme year will be an opportunity to highlight the wealth of research UCL has conducted since its creation’, emphasises René Rezsöhazy, a professor in the School of Biology (Faculty of Sciences) and a researcher at the Institute of Life Sciences (ISV), which is coordinating the theme year.

The Louvain Year of Scientific Adventure will be punctuated by:

  • publication by the Louvain University Press of Profession savanturier - L’aventure au coin de la science;
  • academic year opening ceremony;
  • 50th anniversary of the death of Georges Lemaître (father of the Big Bang theory);
  • Fête de l'université (University Festival) and honorary doctorate award ceremony;
  • Printemps des sciences (‘Spring Science Week’);
  • Ma thèse en 180 secondes (‘My thesis in 180 seconds’ competition);
  • TEDxUCLouvain;
  • opening of Musée L with space dedicated to scientific adventure;
  • exhibitions and performances of UCL Culture’s cultural season.

The year’s theme and its related university activities will also serve to:

  • instil in students a passion for research as an ‘intellectual adventure’;
  • make the value and diversity of the daily challenge of knowledge accessible to the general public;
  • inspire the young to pursue a scientific career.

René Rezsöhazy, a professor in the School of Biology (Faculty of Sciences) and a researcher at the Institute of Life Sciences (ISV), highlights the wealth of research UCL has conducted since its creation.

A comprehensive university, UCL is a melting pot conducive to scientific adventure in all fields.

An exercise in representing the world

Scientific adventure is about generating knowledge, which in itself serves society and, more broadly, humanity. It’s about taking risks and being bold and creative in the drive to push the limits of knowledge still further. Through its creation of models, science is an exercise in representing the world.

Profession: scientist-adventurer. The adventure of science

Published in the fall of the Louvain Year of Scientific Adventure (2016-17) by Louvain University Press as part of its ‘Cordouan’ collection, edited by René Rezsöhazy and with a preface by Bertrand Piccard, Profession : savanturier - L'aventure au coin de la science provides an overview of the feats performed by our scientist-adventurers.


An Ansoms, Anne Bauwens, Yannick Bleyenheuft, Thierry Boon, Charlotte Bréda, Orian Bricart, Patrice Cani, Isabelle Cassiers, Marco Cavalieri, Marc Crommelinck, Cathy Debier, Emmanuel Debruyne, Anabelle Decottignies, Olivier Dedobbeleer, Nathalie Delzenne, Emeline De Bouver, Myriam De Kesel, Jacques Drèze, Jan Driessen, Emmanuelle Druart, Valeria Forlin, Anne-Sophie Gijs, André Goffeau, Yves Jongen, Éric Lambin, Eric Lander, Charlotte Langohr, Yvan Larondelle, Pierre-Joseph Laurent, Cindy Lee Van Dover, Benjamin Lemaire, Andreia Lemaître, Georges Lemaître, Stéphanie Liénart, Sophie Lucas, Patrick Meyfroidt, Silvia Mostaccio, Mission to Mars 2016, Sylvie Nozaradan, Marthe Nyssens, Jean-Bernard Otte, Olivier Pereira, Jean-Jacques Quisquater, Hervé Rogez, Mathieu Roiseux, Olivier Servais, Françoise Smet, Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Nadine Traufler,  Laurence van Ypersele, Patrick Willems.


In partnership with La Libre Belgique and Dailyscience