News 2017


Next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation & the Social Sciences and Humanities

‘Horizon 2020’, the current EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, comes to an end in 2020. Related to the preparations for the follow-up programme, the All European Academies (ALLEA) and partner organisations call for more inter- and transdisciplinarity and a conscientious framing of ‘missions’. In their statement, the organisations also put forward suggestions that take account of social, cultural, legal and ethical challenges ahead. Delegated by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, Simona Pekarek Doehler from the University of Neuchâtel, significantly contributed to the statement with the topic “Catching up with innovation: preparing for social consequences and embracing opportunities”.


young scientists Dec 19, 2017

Wanted: Young scientists with contributions to solve global challenges

Young scientists will have the opportunity to present their research in Brussels on 17 April 2018. The offer is aimed at doctoral students and postdocs (max. 3 years from doctorate) from all disciplines and whose research has the potential to contribute to solving global challenges. Wanted are persons who can explain the importance of their research in five minutes and who are not afraid to communicate with political decision-makers from Europe.
Important decisions for the future of European research and innovation policy will be taken next year. For example, under current discussion is the significance of research and innovation to address global challenges in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, young researchers are rarely given the opportunity to speak out in these political debates. SwissCore, the Swiss contact office for European research, innovation and education in Brussels, will therefore offer them a platform at its next annual event.
Proposals may be submitted until 30 January 2018.

Further information


Einsatz für angeklagten Gletscherforscher

Der argentinische Gletscherforscher Ricardo Villalba wurde angeklagt, Daten im Inventar zu den argentinischen Gletschern manipuliert zu haben: Es seien nur Gletscher berücksichtigt worden, die grösser als eine Hektare seien. Gemäss World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) habe Villalba jedoch völlig korrekt gearbeitet.
Die Akademien der Wissenschaften Schweiz haben in einem Schreiben – unter anderem an das argentinische Ministerium für Wissenschaften – reagiert. Sie sind sehr besorgt und machen darauf aufmerksam, dass eine Verurteilung eines Forschers, dessen wissenschaftliche Arbeit breit anerkannt ist, andere Forschende künftig davon abhalten könnte, im Auftrag der Behörden für die Umwelt und die Gesellschaft zu arbeiten.

Schreiben der Akademien der Wissenschaften Schweiz

WETTBEWERB Dec 13, 2017

Wettbewerb für wissenschaftliche Bilder

Der Schweizerische Nationalfonds macht die Schweizer Forschung für die Öffentlichkeit und die Medien sichtbar: mit dem jährlichen SNF-Wettbewerb für wissenschaftliche Bilder. Die eingereichten Fotografien, Bilder und Videos sollen mit ihrer ästhetischen Qualität und Kraft inspirieren und Erstaunen auslösen, Wissen vermitteln und illustrieren, Geschichten erzählen oder neue Welten entdecken. Mitmachen können alle in der Schweiz tätigen Forscherinnen und Forscher. Der Wettbewerb will die wachsende Bedeutung von Bildern in der Forschung aufzeigen, einen Einblick in die Praxis der Wissenschaft gewähren und die Forschenden und ihr aussergewöhnliches Arbeitsumfeld sichtbarer machen. Verliehen wird der Preis an den Bieler Fototagen im Mai 2018. Einsendeschluss ist der 31. Januar 2018.

Zum Wettbewerb


Urgent call to change diet in Europe to address climate change

Climate change will affect our food systems. Scientists in Europe call for urgent changes in diet and agriculture to mitigate the impact. To reduce the contribution of diets to climate change, efforts are necessary to influence consumer behaviours because the overconsumption of calories and meat results in excessive agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. Changing dietary consumption could also benefit human health. The mitigation of climate change impacts also requires land-sparing and agronomic management practices together with climate-smart agriculture and plant breeding innovations to cope with drought. The report by the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) is a part of a global project led by the InterAcademy Partnership with three complementary reports on the Americas, Africa and Asia.

EASAC publication

SCIENCE AT NOON Dec 11, 2017

Medien und Öffentlichkeitswandel - Rückblick zum Science at Noon, 5.12.17

Professor Otfried Jarren, Institut für Publizistikwissenschaft und Medienforschung der Universität Zürich sprach über Medien und Öffentlichkeitswandel als elementare Herausforderung für das Wissenschaftssystem: „Es gibt nicht mehr die Medien, auch nicht mehr die Öffentlichkeit, alles ist hoch dynamisch geworden, “ Jarren schilderte die veränderten Strukturen in der Digitalisierung. „Die Legitimität der Wissenschaft ist abhängig von der Öffentlichkeit als Geldgeber. Diese Legitimität wurde bis anhin durch Elitemedien gesichert.“ Er betonte, wie schwierig die Finanzierung des Wissenschaftsjournalismus geworden ist und warum das Wissenschaftssystem die Kommunikation und PR-Maschinerie aufrüstet.


Ausführliche Version des Vortrages von Otfried Jarren

International Dec 7, 2017

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): a guide to academies’ involvement

The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) produced a guide on how science academies can get involved and assist in the implementation of the SDGs.

The publication is based on the results of a survey among its members, the National Young Academies and the Global Young Academy.

IAP publication


Prix de Quervain: Stories from the eternal ice

On 23 November, the Prix de Quervain 2017 will be presented to Emiliano Stopelli and Prisco Frei for their rewarded master and doctoral thesis. In addition, Julia Schmahle will report on the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition during the symposium at the Alpine Museum in Bern. The entry is free.

Registration by 19 November.

BALZAN PRIZE Nov 15, 2017

Awardees present research at Balzan Forum

The 2017 Prizewinners Bina Agarwal (Gender Studies) Aleida and Jan Assmann (Collective Memory), James P. Allison and Robert D. Schreiber (Immunological Approaches in Cancer Therapy), Michaël Gillon (The Sun’s Planetary System and Exoplanets) and Robert O. Keohane (International Relations, History and Theory- 2016) will receive their Balzan Prizes on Friday, 17 November in Berne. The ceremony at the Bundeshaus, the Federal Palace of Switzerland, will be preceded on Thursday, 16 November by the Balzan Prizewinners Interdisciplinary Forum, organised together with the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, at the Yehudi Menuhin Forum (Helvetiaplatz). All the ceremonies and presentations are streamed live.

Livestream Thursday from 2.15 p.m. and Friday 5 p.m. on


When algorithms are fighting wars

Thermal imaging cameras, sensors and machine guns: autonomous war robots, as they are found on the border between North and South Korea, confront our society with ethical and legal problems. The support of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences SAHS allowed media promotion prizewinner Florian Wüstholz to realise a first article for the magazine “Zeitpunkt” and investigate the arising questions.

Link to article, in German


Flags for the Academy association

The heart of the Academy association has become visible. As of the end of October, the flags of the Academy association and the House of Academies are flying on the facade. With this symbol the Academies seek to mark the route to the House of Academies for all researchers and all interested parties.


New heads named for the SAMS and TA-SWISS

Valérie Clerc and Elisabeth Ehrensperger are taking up office today in the Academy association. Valérie Clerc succeeds Hermann Amstad as Secretary General of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS). Elisabeth Ehrensperger is taking over as Managing Director of TA-SWISS, the Centre for Technology Assessment. She succeeds Sergio Bellucci.


MEDIA RELEASE Oct 30, 2017

Record-braking glacier retreat

Short winter with very little snowfall and heat waves in June and August 2017: Between October 2016 and September 2017, the Swiss glaciers lost approximately three percent of their ice volume. With the meltwater, each Swiss household could fill a 25-metre pool. This makes the year 2017 one of the three most melt-intensive years since measurement began, the Cryospheric Commission of the Swiss Academy of Sciences reports.

Media release (pdf) in German
Theme portal "Snow, glaciers, permafrost"

PUBLICATION Oct 26, 2017

A Conflict Sensitive Approach to Field Research - Doing Any Better?

The publication A Conflict-Sensitive Approach to Field Research – Doing Any Better? by swisspeace and the KFPE demonstrates, in eight contributions, how scientists view their research as dependent of national and international power structures. Research in conflict zones can point to ways and means to diffuse tension, if consciously undertaken. To achieve this objective, field research projects need to consider these specifics from the very outset.

Download (PDF)
Press release (in German)

MEDIA RELEASE Oct 25, 2017

Biodiversity loss – also in Switzerland

Plants, animals and fungi not only die in the rainforest but also here in Switzerland. In the current issue of the magazine HOTSPOT, "Following the traces of biodiversity loss", the Swiss Biodiversity Forum of the Swiss Academy of Sciences makes the extent and the mechanisms of the extinction in Switzerland visible.

HOTSPOT "Following the traces of biodiversity loss"
Media release (pdf), in German

OPEN LETTER Oct 24, 2017

Research needs an innovative Swiss Alpine Museum

In an open letter sent by the Interacademic Commission for alpine studies (ICAS) to Federal councillor Alain Berset, the researchers underline the importance of an innovative Alpine museum for Swiss Alpine and mountain research. They emphasise that research needs an attractive platform for discussing the future of the Alpine habitat as all of Switzerland is affected by the impacts of climate change or the demographic development.

Wording of the open letter (pdf) in German

PRIX MÉDIA Oct 23, 2017
Verleihung Prix Média 2017, Claudia Appenzeller, Jean-Daniel Bohnenblust, Sophie Gabus, Alessandro Staehli, Florian Wüstholz, Felicitas Pauss, This Rutishauser

Life-saving poisons and a journey into the depths of the Earth

Today, the media awards of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences were presented at Lucerne-based MAZ, the Swiss School of Journalism. Winners of the Academies’ Prix Média 2017 are Jean-Daniel Bohnenblust and Sophie Gabus, Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS), for their TV report on the potential of animal venoms in drug development. The Prix Média Newcomer was awarded to Alessandro Staehli of nature magazine La Salamandre and his adventurous journey into the depths of the Earth. The prizes are endowed with 5,000 Swiss francs each. Furthermore, the Academies support two research projects by Julia Richter and Florian Wüstholz with an advancement award. The awards were presented in collaboration with the independent magazine REPORTAGEN and the platform

Prix Média 2017
Media release (pdf) in German


Antonio Loprieno will be the next President of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

The delegates of the Academies have elected Antonio Loprieno as their new President. He is a professor of Egyptology and of the History of Institutions and a former Rector of the University of Basel. “I am delighted to be able to serve the Swiss scientific community on both a national and international level, and will do so with real enthusiasm”, said Loprieno. He will succeed Maurice Campagna in the office of President as of 1 May 2018.

Press release (pdf)
Medienmitteilung (pdf)
Communiqué de presse (pdf)

STATEMENT Oct 9, 2017

Free and unrestricted access to publicly funded research

The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences welcome the swissuniversities’ Action Plan on the Swiss National Strategy on Open Access. It states that by 2024 all scientific publications in Switzerland should be made available in Open Access. The Academies want to make a significant contribution to the implementation of the Action Plan by taking awareness-raising measures in national scientific communities, through information and events, and by supporting journals on their way to Open Access. The University Council will adopt the Action Plan by the end of February 2018. A conference on the Swiss National Strategy on Open Access is scheduled for spring 2018.

Wording of the statement (pdf) in German


Who wins the Prix Média 2017?

The shortlist is now definite. Helga Rietz, Jean-Daniel Bohnenblust, Sophie Gabus, Alessandro Staehli, Anatol Hug, Stephan Hille, Andrea Meier, Emmanuel Haddad, Adrienne Surprenant, François Jeannet or Jacqueline Dubuis? On 23 October 2017, the Academies of Arts and Sciences award the prizes for scientific journalism. The event will include a lecture by scientific journalist Edwin Cartlidge and will take place from 17:30 to approximately 18:45 hrs at the MAZ Lucerne, followed by a reception.

See the full shortlist
Register for awards ceremony

Human and animal health Sep 21, 2017

Thematic portal on animal testing

Animals are used in medical research for humans and animals to generate new scientific findings. Is this justified? Under what circumstances are animal tests dubious? With the thematic portal «Animal testing» of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT), scientists from the Swiss Laboratory Animal Science Association want to provide answers to the most important questions related to the discussions in Switzerland. The same topic is also covered in the recent academy publication «Balancing of interests with animal testing applications» that supports researchers in their project applications for animal testing.

Portal «Animal testing»
Publication «Balancing of interests with animal testing applications»

Publication Sep 20, 2017

Insights in the many different «Switzerlands»

In the manifold anniversary year 2015, several member organisations of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHW) raised the question of the identity of Switzerland. The series of events «La Suisse existe – La Suisse n’existe pas» made the many different «Switzerlands» a subject of the discussion and sought explanations for the existence of Switzerland in its present form. The publication now available brings together eleven individual reports from the series of events in one volume.

To the online publication (pdf)

Publication Sep 18, 2017

Guidance for the weighing of interests for proposed animal experiments

Researchers in Switzerland that want to carry out an animal experiment have to make a formal application. According to the animal protection law, they are obliged to make not only scientific considerations and state them in a comprehensible manner, but also ethical ones. This is done by means of a weighing of interests. A new academy brochure provides support. The guidance document is published trilingually (d/e/f) and is available online. It can also be ordered as a printed brochure free of charge: order@samw.notexisting@nodomain.comch.

Brochure (pdf) (in German)

Media release Sep 13, 2017

"Platform Ageing Society" networks science and actors from research and practice

Our society has the best prerequisites for a successful "humane" ageing. Today, the "Platform Ageing Society" launches a central point for inter- and transdisciplinary exchange of knowledge. The Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHS) administers the website with currently 29 official partners and further stakeholders.
Media release (in German)

AWARD Sep 12, 2017

Balzan Prizes 2017 awarded

The International Balzan Prizes 2017 are presented to Bina Agarwal (Gender Studies), Aleida and Jan Assmann (Collective memory), Michaël Gillon (Planets of the solar system and exoplanets), Robert D. Schreiber and James P. Allison (Immunological approaches in cancer treatment) and Robert Owen Keohane (International relations, history and theory). Since 1961, the International Balzan Prize Foundation rewards outstanding scientists in the humanities and natural sciences as well as personalities from the fields of arts and culture with 750,000 Swiss Francs to fund research projects.

The winners in the picture
Forum of the winners in Bern (16 November 2017)


The future enters the House of Academies

On Thursday, 9 November 2017, the House of Academies in Bern opens its doors to young talents in the scope of the National Future Day. The offer is aimed at pupils in grades 5 to 7 relating to the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (children, neighbour’s children, godchildren etc. of employees).

Further information


Biodiversity Action Plan is a second major step

The Federal Council adopted the Swiss Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. The Action Plan is a second major step after the emergency measures taken in 2016, the Swiss Biodiversity Forum of the Swiss Academy of Sciences writes. However, the Swiss Biodiversity Forum also states that the Action Plan contains considerable gaps. It is limited to Federal and cantonal measures, thereby largely excluding key players such as the Swiss municipalities, the economy or the energy sector. In order to conserve biodiversity and sustain ecosystem services in Switzerland in the longer term, the current gaps need to be addressed in the short term, the Swiss Biodiversity Forum says.

Media release (pdf) in German


Antonio Loprieno to preside European academy organisation

The General Assembly of the All European Academies (ALLEA) elected Antonio Loprieno on 4 September in Budapest as president for the period 2018–2021. The Swiss egyptologist was a former vice chancellor of the University of Basel. „I am delighted to represent the leading role of Swiss science also at the European level“, Loprieno said. During his presidency, he aims at increasing the visibility of science in politics and society. The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences and all its members engage in ALLEA to shape science-policy frameworks for researchers.

Personal information Antonio Loprieno
All European Academies (ALLEA)

Events Sep 1, 2017

"Science at Noon" in the House of Academies

Share knowledge, meet interesting people and live interfaces: in the framework of "Science at Noon", actors from the network of the academies discuss on a regular basis scientific and science policy topics, allowing mutual insights in current and completed projects. It will start again after the summer break on Thursday, 7 September, with an input to the Citizen Science Project Swiss Litter Report.

Further information

HORIZONS Aug 25, 2017

The economy needs updating

The magazine Horizons by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Academies goes in search of new economic theories. Economics as a science has barely changed since the real estate bubble burst. But is the homo really that oeconomicus? And how long will it take to build an economy that is truly sustainable?

In addition: how many calories are burned with mild physical activity? New computer chips imitate the behaviour of neurons, so most people would pronounce the same punishments as judges do.

Latest issue

Promote young talents Aug 4, 2017

A week in space

Child reporter Léonie met with NASA Science Director Thomas Zurbuchen in the House of Academies. Together they travelled to Mars and spoke about the great mysteries in space research and the small secrets in everyday life of astronauts. How to start a rocket? Where to enter in the first place? How do astronauts brush their teeth? And where on Mars is it most beautiful? To hear ans see during 6-10 August on SRF1 (always 19.00-20.00) and on


Future researchers honoured

The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, the Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences and the International Space Science Institute have honoured seven young talents with a honorary award for their exceptional performances in the fields of physics and astronomy: Emilie Hertig and Rebecca Hampp for their experiments within the scope of the Swiss youth research programme "Schweizer Jugend Forscht" as well as Adrian Rutschmann, Henning Zhang, Pascal Isenring, Alexandre Pinazza and Tamar Som for winning medals at the International Physics Olympiad 2017. "Physics is a great starting point for a variety of different career paths", Head of NASA Science Missions Thomas Zurbuchen said at the presentation of the awards on 2 August.

EVENT Jul 31, 2017

Science journalism – watchdog or truffle dog?

On 23 October 2017, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences are presenting the Prix Média in Lucerne. Science journalist Edwin Cartlidge will hold a keynote speech on the event’s topic “Science journalism – watchdog or truffle dog of research?”. The following discussion will be moderated by reportage chief editor Daniel Puntas Bernet. Further information will follow.

Information on Prix Média


Ask the Head of NASA Science Missions your questions!

When will we be able to travel to Mars? How does a spacecraft work? Why are there storms on Jupiter? Thomas Zurbuchen, Head of NASA Science Missions, will answer questions of curious children on the great theme “space” in the House of Academies in Bern. The editors of ZAMBO, the Swiss radio and television programme for children, will record the conversation between Mr Zurbuchen and the young reporter Léonie.

Write your question to Thomas Zurbuchen here!

Image: Selfie of NASA Curiosity Mars Rover; NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS 

EVENT Jul 18, 2017

Head of NASA Science Missions visiting Switzerland

The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences are excited about Thomas Zurbuchen’s visit to Switzerland. On Wednesday, 2 August 2017, the Head of NASA Science Missions and former student and researcher of the University of Bern will join a public panel discussion (number of participants limited, registration mandatory). The event is aimed at representatives of scientific communities, upcoming and established space scientists and startup companies in space technologies. Following the podium discussion, Thomas Zurbuchen will visit the House of Academies to answer the curious questions of a young reporter for "Zambo",  the Swiss radio and television programme for children.

The event is held under the patronage of the Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences (SCNAT) and the International Space Science Institute (ISSI).

Programme and registration

International Jul 17, 2017

Recommendations of European Academies for the next EU Framework Programme for Research

Horizon 2020, the current EU promotion programme for research and technological development, worth more than 70 billion Euro, is also of vital importance for researchers in Switzerland. The work for the design of the successor programme from 2021 is under way. With its position paper, the association ALLEA (All European Academies) makes the case for a Europe that is a world leader in research and innovation. For that purpose, ALLEA calls for a programme with, in particular: significant resources for initiatives that were successful so far (e.g. European Research Council); an added value in comparison to national research systems; incentives for interdisciplinarity, mobility, internationalism, excellence as well as for research with societal and long-term impact; and full recognition of the importance of the humanities and social sciences. Professor Simona Pekarek Doehler from the University of Neuchâtel was co-author of the ALLEA Position Paper as Delegate of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.

ALLEA FP9 Position Paper

EVENT Jul 14, 2017

ScienceComm’17: Register now!

ScienceComm has been given a facelift: According to the motto „Show Me Science!“, participative formats will prevail in 2017. The conference will start on  21 September in the afternonn and end on  22 September evening in the Landhaus, Solothurn. It is addressed to all the people directly or indirectly interested in science communication.

ScienceComm’17 registration

Strategic topics Jul 12, 2017

Mastering challenges together

"Personalised health", "Aging population", "Digitisation", "Dialogue with youth and society", "Collaboration in innovation parks" and "Energy, environment and resources": With their strategic topics the members of the Academy association join forces. Because the collaboration between all scientific disciplines and the active dialogue between science, society and politics are required to meet the great challenges of our and the next generations to come.

Strategic topics

Promotion of young talents Jul 10, 2017

Reward for best doctoral theses

With the Prix Schläfli the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) rewards the four best doctoral theses in natural science disciplines. Applications can be submitted until 31 October 2017 at The promotion of young talents is one of the priorities of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.

International Cooperation Jul 5, 2017

Electricity grids in Europe: increased need for dedicated storage

The European umbrella organisation of national science academies (EASAC) has examined the added value of large- and small-scale electricity storage. This is set against the background of fluctuating extraction of renewable energy, whose stable integration in European electricity grids increasingly requires large-scale electricity storage. The EASAC «Policy Report» is a scientific contribution to the configuration of energy policy in the EU area. «Our analysis highlights how to objectively and transparently link potentials and limitations of new storage technologies with the design of electricity markets and investment strategies in Europe», according to Thierry Courvoisier, President of EASAC and representative of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. The results of the expert panel aim to make a contribution so that electricity is provided to consumers in a reliable manner and at the lowest possible costs.

EASAC report «Valuing dedicated storage in electricity grids»

Personnel changes Jul 3, 2017

Valérie Clerc joins the Academy association

The Swiss Academy of Medical Science (SAMS) has appointed Valérie Clerc as its new Secretary General. On 1 November 2017, the historian succeeds Hermann Amstad, who helped shaping the SAMS for 18 years. Currently, Valérie Clerc is Managing Director of the Swiss University Conference (SHK) at the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). With Valérie Clerc, the Academies gain a personality with long standing experience in Swiss university policy.

Media release (pdf) in German

MEDIA RELEASE Jun 29, 2017

Performance Agreement signed

The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences have signed the Performance Agreement with the federal government for the years 2017–2020 for a total of 169 million Swiss francs. The funds will be used to fulfil the basic mandates of the association and its six members as well as for the long-term activities and the national funding initiative Personalised Medicine. The mandate of the association of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences includes the promotion of the dialogue between science and society. To this end, the association, together with its 300 member organisations, is actively committed at the local, national and international level.

Media release (pdf) German

ANNUAL REPORT Jun 29, 2017

Faces of sciences

The annual report 2016 of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences spotlights the people who generate knowledge and promote science on a daily basis. Seven networkers and mediators offer a glimpse of their everyday life: They represent the 100,000 committed persons under our roof who help to encounter science in various ways. The report also shows the strategic topics the Academies cover to carry out their mission.

Annual report (pdf) German

Personnel changes Jun 27, 2017

Democracy specialist for the Academies

As of 1 November 2017, Elisabeth Ehrensperger takes over the management of TA-SWISS, the Centre for Technology Assessment of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. She succeeds Sergio Bellucci, who is retiring by the end of November after 20 years of service. Most recently, Elisabeth Ehrensperger was Executive Secretary of the National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics.

Personnel changes Jun 2, 2017

New president in the Academy association

Willy R. Gehrer is the new president of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW). In May, the qualified electrical engineer succeeded Ulrich W. Suter, who led the SATW for six years. Willy R. Gehrer worked for many years at Siemens Switzerland, most recently as CEO of the areas Energy and Transportation Systems. As former delegate of SATW, he is already very familiar with the businesses of the Board of Directors of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.

Media release (pdf) in German

STATUTES Jun 1, 2017

Revised statutes

In view of the cooperation within the association and the introduction of the global budgeting, the statutes of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences were revised. On 31 May 2017, the Assembly of Delegates has approved the statutes of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. They enter into force on 1 June 2017 and will be submitted to the Federal Council together with the statutes of the members at the end of the year.

Statutes of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences of 1 June 2017 (pdf) German

PUBLIKATION May 22, 2017

Forschungsinfrastrukturförderung der SAGW

Das neue Factsheet der SAGW stellt Forschungsinfrastrukturen (FI) – Einrichtungen und Dienstleistungen – vor, die strukturierte und nach methodisch nachvollziehbaren wissenschaftlichen Kriterien erarbeitete Sammlungen von Informationen und Wissen der Forschung zur Verfügung stellen. Diese Informationssammlungen sind sowohl nachhaltig und nutzungsoffen konzipiert als auch allen interessierten Kreisen zugänglich. Die Schweizerische Akademie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften SAGW ist eine der wichtigsten Trägerinnen von langfristigen Forschungsinfrastrukturen in der Schweiz. Dazu gehören Datensammlungen, Dokumentationssysteme, wissenschaftliche Zeitschriften und Editionen. 

Download «Forschungsinfrastrukturförderung der Schweizerischen Akademie der Geistes und Sozialwissenschaften» pdf

international cooperation May 17, 2017

Scientific recommendations for sustainable forest management

The production of natural resources and raw materials for industry and bioenergy, employment creation, provision of spaces for leisure, conservation of biodiversity, mitigation of climate change: the many functions of forests create also conflicts between different uses and stakeholders. Policy-makers are confronted with considerable challenges to enhance sustainability and synergies between different interest groups. A European expert group reviewed the latest scientific knowledge in a report that makes recommendations for sustainable forest management with optimal social, environmental and economic benefits. Thierry Courvoisier, President of the l’European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) and former President of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, recently released the report «Multi-functionality and sustainability in the European Union's forests».

EASAC report


Objectives achieved, positive interim result

On 10 May 2017, at the assembly of delegates of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, Prof. Dr Maurice Campagna announced his resignation effective 1 May 2018. The essential objectives of his mandate have been achieved and additional milestones are within reach, the versatile and committed president said. In spring 2017, the leaner statutes were passed, developed under his leadership and opening the path to overall budgeting in the association of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. By elaborating new strategic subjects, the content alignment has been strengthened, said Campagna. The election procedure will start in the coming weeks.

Communication (pdf) German, French, Italian


Doing enough, but not too much

The new position paper "Sustainable medicine" of the Swiss Academies of Medical Sciences (SAMS) calls for health interventions to be selected with a sense of proportion: The approach to do everything and preferably immediately should be replaced by the approach to do enough but not too much. The newly published recommendations provide orientation for such "wise choices".

Download "Handling conflicts of interest when drafting guidelines and choosing-wisely lists" (pdf) German


Prix Média 2017: Apply now

Awarded with the Prix Média and the Prix Média Newcomer is the outstanding journalistic and technical quality of a scientific media product, primarily addressing a lay audience and published in a medium that comes out regularly in Switzerland. Young journalists (aged 32 or younger) are automatically considered for the Prix Média Newcomer. Submission deadline: Wednesday, 31 May 2017


The potential for misuse in life sciences research needs to be discussed

Research in the life sciences affords immense benefits to society and the environment, but it also carries risks. These risks include not only unintentional or accidental exposure to hazardous biological material, but also the intentional misuse of such materials or related data, knowledge, and technologies. The potential for misuse is especially apparent with respect to research on human pathogens. A new publication by the Academies of Arts and Sciences provides a discussion basis for scientists on how to address the misuse potential of biological research.

Report (pdf)


Manifest für eine wissensbasierte Politik

Wie hängen Wissen und Gesellschaft zusammen? In seinem Buch «Von Sternen und Staaten» beschreibt Thierry Courvoisier, wie der Prozess der politischen Entscheidungsfindung mithilfe der jeweils passenden Wissenschaft ergänzt werden kann. Mit Beispielen aus seinem Fachgebiet zeigt der ehemalige Präsident der Akademien der Wissenschaften Schweiz, wie die Astronomie mit ihren Erkenntnissen das menschliche Denken über Jahrtausende hinweg bereichert hat. Mit ihrer Suche nach einer Harmonie der Welt tragen besonders Astronomen zu einer aktiven Gestaltung und Förderung unserer Umwelt bei. Es ist deshalb auch ihre Aufgabe, die Wissenschaft «in den Dienst» der Gesellschaft zu stellen, und ihr Wissen in knapper und verständlicher Form in Regierungskreise hineinzutragen.

«Des Étoiles aux États» (deutsch ab Ende 2017)

Des étoiles aux Etats 

Call Apr 28, 2017

Contributions for the preparation of project applications for Swiss Park Research

The parks of national significance combine the preservation and enhancement of nature and landscape with models for a regional sustainable development. This combination of prospects for protection and use lead to a wide range of research topics for science. The following results can be an important basis for the further development of a targeted and impact oriented management of the parks. On behalf of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) the Swiss Park Research of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Scienes supports and strengthens research in and about the parks of national significance. For this purpose it promotes the preparation of project applications to third parties with a financial contribution (seed money).

Call contributions (pdf, in German)

EVENT Apr 21, 2017

Research in Swiss parks

On 30 May 2017, Swiss Park Research is organising a national conference on research in parks of national significance and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Scientists will present their current research projects carried out in different nature parks of national significance and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The programme includes presentations and posters on the subjects society, education, biodiversity and change.

Further information and registration

EVENT Apr 10, 2017

3° Convegno "Dalle Alpi al Mediterraneo"

Cross-border, sustainable mobility and its relevance for the prosperity in times of rapid social and economic change are crucial for the development between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea. Maurice Campagna, president of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, moderated an event in Lugano with high-level representatives from science and politics, such as Giancarlo Kessler, Swiss Ambassador in Rome, and Prof. Rico Maggi, professor for international tourism and microeconomics at USI Università della Svizzera italiana.

"Sustainability of cross-border mobility"


Universities are becoming more sustainable

More sustainability in research and teaching: The federal government’s four million Swiss Francs funding programme “Sustainable Development at Universities” significantly contributed to its anchorage.
In the past four years, the programme coordinated by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences supported 54 projects. An overview will be presented on Friday at the “Sustainable University Day” in Basel with the final report. The first call of the follow-up programme has already been opened for students.

Final report “Sustainable University Day” (pdf, in German)
Overview of all projects
Follow-up programme “U-Change”

International Apr 5, 2017

Grave concern about academic freedom in Hungary

The higher education law reform by the Hungarian Government causes great turbulence. The reform formally concerns the 28 education institutions that are supported from abroad, but is factually directed against the Central European University (CEU). This university, which has gained international reputation since its creation in 1991, would have to cease operation if the reform was to be continued. The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences join the All European Academies (ALLEA) and other science organisations in urging the Hungarian Government to withdraw the reform and to respect academic freedom that is enshrined in Article 9 of the Hungarian constitution.

ALLEA letter
Further statements
Hungarian constitution


Marching for research and science

The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences support the "March for Science" on 22 April. Together with all participants worldwide, the Academies also emphasise the need for a science transparent and accessible to all. Research and science should serve the common good and help decision-makers to find the best possible solutions for the population.

"March for Science" in Switzerland

Scientific integrity Mar 24, 2017

Guidelines for honest research

A new European code of conduct defines the guidelines for research integrity. The concise compilation was drafted by selected experts of the umbrella organisation of 59 academies in 40 Council of Europe countries – the All European Academies (ALLEA). As a reference document of the European Commission, it will be binding for all researchers with project funding from the European Research Framework Programme. The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences substantially contributed to the revised version of the document.

European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity
ALLEA Website

CONFERENCE Mar 21, 2017

Future developed tourism regions – more than a business model

This year's conference of the Interacademic Commission on Alpine Studies (ICAS) fathoms new future prospects for centres and regions that are highly developed for tourism and therefore depend on it. Current trends and rapidly changing frame conditions such as unpredictable global markets, secondary residents limitation, climate change and increasing mobility set dwindling frame conditions. The discussion should be held beyond the classic and purely economically oriented business models and should show how touristic centres can develop and distinguish themselves from the inside as attractive habitats. The conference will address possible approaches, which might also be interesting for the Engadine.

Kongress- und Kulturzentrum Rondo, Pontresina. 23 and 24 June 2017
Registration by 19 June 2017:, +41 (0)31 306 93 46.

Further information

EVENT Mar 14, 2017

ScienceComm'17 Call for Participation

"Show Me Science!" is the motto of the ScienceComm'17. What role does science communication play in times of "anything goes"? Is the flexible attitude towards facts and interpretations not a wake-up call for science and an opportunity to position itself in the sense of 'It's science. It works. We show you how!'? This year, the conference will focus on participative formats. ScienceComm'17 will start in the afternoon of 21 September and will end in the evening of 22 September 2017 in the Landhaus Solothurn.

Submission deadline for abstracts is 9 April 2017:
Further information about ScienceComm'17


Support for student project on sustainability

The programme "U Change" allows independent projects for students at Swiss universities, universities of applied sciences and universities of education. It supports the development and implementation of student ideas, business models and additional activities for a sustainable development thus complementing education at higher education institutions. The key objective of the funded projects is the collaboration with other students, companies, the public sector or NGOs.

Sustainable University Day 2017

EVENT Mar 7, 2017

Book presentation: "Augen-Blicke"

What role do media play in religious traditions? How is religion represented in today's media? Questions like these are of concern to religious scholar Prof. Dr Daria Pezzoli-Olgiati. To mark her 50th birthday, the publisher Theologischer Verlag Zürich (TVZ) is issuing the commermorative publication "Augen-Blicke – 29 perspectives on religion". The book presentation will take place on 6 April 2017 at 17:15 h at the House of Academies Laupenstrasse 7, Bern. No registration required.

Book presentation flyer (pdf, in German)


Swiss Parlament to discuss ratification of Paris Agreement

Switzerland is disproportionately affected by the temperature rise. Tomorrow Thursday, the Swiss Parlament will discuss the ratification of the international climate agreement of the United Nations adopted in Paris in 2015. It lays the foundation for a globally coordinated climate protection. An overview of scientific studies shows that in Switzerland the impacts in case of achieving Paris’ two-degree-target are significantly lower than in, for example, a three degrees warmer world.

Media release "Paris Agreement noticeably reduces climate impacts in Switzerland" (pdf, in German)
Report "Focus Climate Switzerland" (pdf, in German)
ProClim – Forum Forum for Climate and Global Change

International Feb 28, 2017

Scientific support for the implementation of the Global Sustainable Goals in Switzerland

In September 2015, the community of states adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for a sustainable economic, social and ecological development globally. For the national implementation of the 17 SDG goals until 2030, the Federal Council also set up an advisory group with represen- tatives from private-sector business, non-governmental organisations, associations and the scientific community. Delegated by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, the economist Renate Schubert (Head of the Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich) and the geographer Peter Messerli (Director of the Centre for Development and Environment, Uni Bern) will represent the scientific community.

National implementation of Agenda 2030

PUBLICATION Feb 20, 2017

Recommendations for the acquisition of basic knowledge of the Latin language

In 2014 the Swiss Academies of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHS) presented recommendations on the offer and acquisition of Latin language competences at Swiss universities. It concluded that the implementation of the recommendations could best be achieved by defining minimal competences that the students should have after the completion of a basic course in Latin. Therefore, a task force was assigned to develop the present report.

Swiss Academies Reports, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2017, (in German and French)

Statement Feb 2, 2017

Animal experimentations: Academies support the introduction of animal welfare officers and standardised education and training

In late October, the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has opened the consultation process regarding the amendment of ordinances governing the veterinary field. The revised ordinance provides an animal welfare officer for animal experimentations and standardised education and training in the field of animal experimentations. In their statement, the Academies expressly welcome both proposals. In addition, they point to some inconsistencies.

Statement on the consultation on the amendments of ordinances in the veterinary field (German)
Ethics Committee for Animal Experimentation of the Academies

International Feb 1, 2017

US immigration ban also affects scientists in Switzerland

The temporary immigration imposed by the US Government on nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen also affects scientists in Switzerland. An Iranian scientist, who graduated at the EPF Lausanne and currently lives in Lausanne, cannot take up her position at Harvard Medical School despite a Swiss National Science Foundation bursary. “Science thrives best through the exchange of ideas and research materials – but also through the unrestricted freedom of movement for scientists”, emphasises Professor Martina Caroni, the Delegate for Human Rights at the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. To discriminate scientists based on their nationality or faith contradicts the Principle of Universality of Science. The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences therefore support the petition of almost 15'000 US scientists and the plea of the International Council for Science to rescind the immigration ban.

Petition of US scientists “”

PUBLICATION Jan 30, 2017

Autonomy and relations: the publication and Save the Date

In the cylce of meetings on "Autonomy in medicin" of the SAMS and the national ethics committee the meaning of relations was the center of discussion at the event of 2016: What role does the relation to doctors, nurses and relatives play in selfdecided health decisions? The following publication documents that convention.
Autonomy and care will be the title of the next meeting in 2017. Who decides in cases where a person is not able to decide for themsleves? Save the Date and discuss with us at our next meeting, the 30th of July 2017 in Berne.

SAMW (2016) Autonomy and relations. Swiss Academies Communication11 (12) pdf


We Scientists Shape Science

We want science to be creative, solid, open, helpful for society and a good career opportunity for the talented youth. Let’s start to change what it means to be a scientist and the way and the framework in which science is conducted. It is us scientists who need to change science. Find more information and updated discussion paper on the website of the annual congress of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT).

«We Scientists Shape Science»


The practice of effective inter-professional collaboration

Inter-professional collaboration (IPC) has been gaining more attention in recent years. While calls for more and better IPC grew louder, the question remains open what IPC means in concrete terms for acting professionals in practice. A study commissioned by the SAMS provides guidance.

Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (2017) Die Praxis gelingender interprofessioneller Zusammenarbeit. Swiss Academies Reports 12 (2). pdf (in German)

CALL Jan 17, 2017

Rewarded exhibitions: Prix Expo

The Prix Expo rewards exhibitions and related forms that convey the fascination of nature and the natural sciences to a wide audience in Switzerland both competently and entertainingly. The prize is endowed with 10,000 Swiss francs and has been awarded annually by the Swiss Academy of Sciences since 2003. The call is open for submissions until 1 June 2017.

Further information and participation form


Peter Messerli co-chairs UN Global Sustainable Development Report

Peter Messerli, Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Bern, has been selected as co-chair to lead the group of scientific experts tasked with drafting the upcoming UN Global Sustainable Development Report. In 2015, he was chosen by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences as a scientific representative of the Swiss delegation that participated in negotiation of the new global development agenda at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York. The first report is slated for release in 2019.

Information on the Global Sustainable Development Report

HUMAN RIGHTS Jan 11, 2017

Martina Caroni is the new Delegate for Human Rights

Martina Caroni will serve as the Delegate for Human Rights of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences until 2020. The Delegate intervenes in cases of human right violations against researchers related to their scientific work and she promotes the pertinence of human rights in science. Martina Caroni studied in Bern and Yale and worked at the European Commission of Human Rights. As professor of International, Constitutional and Comparative Law in Lucerne since 2002, her teaching and research areas include migration law and human rights.

Further information 

Abonnieren Sie den Email-Newsletter.


Research magazine «Horizons»

Current edition
Subscribe to «Horizons»

Humanities and Social Sciences

Latest news by SAHS

Medical sciences

Latest news by SAMS

Technical sciences

Latest news by SATW

Dialog Science and Society

Latest news by Science et Cité

Technology assessment

Latest news by TA-SWISS

Members of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

Centres of Excellence

Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences
House of Academies
Laupenstrasse 7
P.O. Box
3001 Bern

Phone +41 (0)31 306 92 20