News 2015

Publication Dec 17, 2015

Annual Balzan Lecture by Terence Cave

The Florentine publishing house Leo S. Olschki has published the Annual Balzan Lecture, which Terence Cave, 2009 Balzan Prize winner for literature since 1500, held on 17 October 2014 at the University of Bern. Terence Cave raised the question about the value of literature as means of understanding the present. He also addressed the positioning of literary studies in academic, political and social settings.

Further information

Publication Nov 30, 2015

Health and global change in an interconnected world

Current anthropogenic pressures on the biosphere are historically unprecedented, threatening the foundations of human health and well-being.
A new factsheet highlights the principal drivers of global change, placing particular emphasis on associated health impacts.

Download the publication

Publication Oct 20, 2015

Engaging politics with science

The provision of scientific policy advice opened up an important work area for the European Academies during the last few years. A new report presents experiences and recommendations from more than twenty years of practice of three dialogue platforms of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT).

Download the publication

Publication Oct 20, 2015

Thierry Courvoisier elected president of EASAC

Thierry Courvoisier, currently Vice-President of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) and President of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, will be the next President of EASAC from 2017 to 2019. He will succeed Jos van der Meer, whose term as President of EASAC ends in December 2016.

Publication Oct 5, 2015

Health literacy in Switzerland - status and prospects

«Health literacy» is defined as the ability to orient oneself in the health care system, to understand the physician or to interpret disease symptoms properly. The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences have gathered information about status and prospects of health literacy in Switzerland.

Download the publication (pdf in German)

Sep 18, 2015

Maurice Campagna elected as President of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

Maurice Campagna was elected as new President of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences by their Delegate Assembly. In this capacity and elected for four years, he succeeds Thierry Courvoisier from 1 January 2016. With his broad-based experience in academic and entrepreneurial issues, Maurice Campagna is expected to realise an enhanced and interdisciplinary cooperation among the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.

Press release (pdf in German, in French, in Italian)

Sep 10, 2015

Prix Média for Anja Jardine

On the occasion of the Swiss media congress in Interlaken, Anja Jardine won the Prix Média of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences worth 10,000 Swiss francs for her article «Das letzte Terrain» (NZZ Folio). The Prix Média shortlist also included articles from the newspaper «NZZ am Sonntag» and television reports from the series «Temps Présent» (RTS). Besides the Prix Média, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences present science journalistic media awards totalling 30,000 Swiss francs. Submissions are possible at any time.

Further information
Press release (pdf, in German)

Sep 9, 2015

Swiss-academies award for transdisciplinary research

The project ‹Green Density› of the EPFL wins today’s swiss-academies award for transdisciplinary research worth 50,000 Swiss francs. In addition, two young researchers from the University of Geneva and from Eawag are awarded for their transdisciplinary scientific work with 10,000 Swiss francs each. Prof Marcel Tanner, former director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute Swiss TPH, is honoured in recognition of his exemplary commitment to inter- and transdisciplinarity in science.

Further information
Press release (pdf, in German)

Sep 7, 2015

Balzan Prize winners 2015

The International Balzan Prize Foundation awards four annual prizes to people or organisations who have made outstanding achievements in the humanities, natural sciences, culture as well as for endeavours for peace and the brotherhood of man. The amount of each of the four 2014 Balzan Prizes is CHF 750,000, half of which must be destined to research work.

The Balzan Prize winners of 2015 were proclaimed today in a public announcement:

- Hans Belting, Germany, for History of European Art (1300-1700)
- Joel Mokyr, USA/Israel, for Economic History
- Francis Halzen, USA, for Astroparticle Physics including neutrino and gamma-ray observation
- David Karl, USA, for Oceanography.

The Prizes will be presented during the award ceremony to be held in Bern on November 13.

Further information

Sep 3, 2015

ScienceDebate Switzerland: does parliament lend an ear to science?

The elections 2015 decide how parliament deals with science advice during the next few years. How do political parties position themselves on issues on which the sciences speak out? Where does the voice of science carry weight, even if it is in conflict with other interests? The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences and the Swiss National Science Foundation, in cooperation with the online voting help smartvote, present the website here, voters can get an impression about the attitude of candidates and their parties towards science.
Thierry Courvoisier: Is Parliament Ready for Serious Dialogue with Science?

Jul 29, 2015

Tour «Research Live»

On the occasion of its 200-year anniversary, the SCNAT provides a wide variety of insights into the world of natural sciences. The installations «Insights» are on tour until 20 October and stop at 12 locations throughout Switzerland. Young researchers are seeking dialogue with the public and give a glimpse into their daily work. A multi-day regional programme of scientific leisure activities is part of the tour. The next stops are Lucerne (5-8 August) and Zurich (12-15 August).

Tour programme

Jun 16, 2015

The House of Academies is open

With a ceremony including 50 invited guests, the House of Academies was officially opened on Tuesday, 16 June 2015. Speakers were Thierry Courvoisier, Susan M. Gasser and Mauro Dell'Ambrogio.

Excerpts from the talks

Publication Jun 15, 2015

Career situation of young female scientists

Compared to their male colleagues, scientific careers of women still rarely lead to the desired professorship. This is due to everyday problems that young scientists have to face and which more often represent obstacles for women than for men. The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences have summarised the present state of knowledge on the career situation of young female scientists and give recommendations to promote gender-adequate academic career paths at Swiss universities and research institutions.

Report: Assessment of the career situation of young female scientists in Switzerland (pdf, in German)
Recommendations for gender-adequate academic career paths (pdf, in German)

Statement Jun 15, 2015

Promotion of Education, Research and Innovation 2017-2020

Download position paperresearch institutions outline in a position paper their common priorities for 2017-2020. Focus: internationality, promotion of domestic talents and knowledge transfer.

Download position paper (pdf, in German)

Prix Média May 20, 2015

Call Prix Média and Promotion Prizes

The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences encourage dialogue between science and society. In this dialogue, journalists have an important role to play by critically analysing complex subjects and by processing them for the wider public. With the Prix Média, which is annually awarded for a scientific article with 10,000 Swiss Francs, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences want to honour and promote journalistic work. The call is open until 15 June 2015.

For the first time, in 2015 Media Promotion Prizes will be awarded to honour relevance and originality of planned science journalism projects. For this purpose 30,000 Swiss Francs are available per year.

Further information

Statement May 12, 2015

Education offensive to strengthen economy and society

One of the greatest challenges for Switzerland is the education of specialists required by economy, society and research.
The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences and the other representatives of the vocational and higher education issued a statement in which they conclude that, in order to achieve this, reforms are necessary in all higher education pathways. A corresponding growth of resources in the Dispatch on Education, Research and Innovation for the years 2017-2020 is important. The planned reforms cannot be implemented with a lower average growth rate than in the current period (3.7%) without, at the same time, threatening the substance of Swiss education and research.

Statement (pdf, in German)

Apr 23, 2015

House of Academies

SCNAT, SAGW, SAMS, Science et Cité and the umbrella organisation a+ have common offices. As of beginning of this week, the staff has completely moved in. We look forward to meeting you at the House of Academies.

Haus der Akademien
Laupenstrasse 7
3001 Bern
Telefon 031 306 92 20

Press release Mar 31, 2015

The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences support the Grant Initiative

Education should be accessible for everyone under the same conditions. The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences are committed to this and support the Grant Initiative of the the national Union of Students of Switzerland (VSS). The initiative aims to harmonise the grant schemes that vary widely from canton to canton. It is not defensible that today, for a significantly higher number of students, overall fewer funds are available. As only well trained future generations guarantee, for instance, the pension provision of the population.

Press release (pdf, in German)

Conference Mar 16, 2015

ScienceComm'15: call for abstracts

The 5th ScienceComm conference will take place on 24 and 25 September 2015 at the Landhaus culture centre in Solothurn and focus on the following topics: «Crisis of Science» and «Open Science / Citizen Science». Interested parties who wish to take an active part are invited to submit their abstract until 31 March 2015.

Further information

Publication Mar 13, 2015

Researchers in politics !?!

Politics are ever more dependent on scientific expertise, but researchers are rarely active as politicians. «Horizons» offers three perspectives on a difficult but necessary relationship, among them an interview with Felix Gutzwiller, who argues in favour of having more researchers in parliament. Other topics include «Bloody deeds in Boston and Basel» or «Special mission: Ebola», and the art historian Anna Minta says: «People still have a need for sacred systems of symbols and societal institutions of order».

Website Horizons

International conference Feb 25, 2015

Human right to science

Scientists are entitled to human rights – but people also have a right to scientific progress and its applications. On 22 May, an international conference in Berne addresses «The Human Right to Science» by using the example of seed science and seed policy. Keynote speaker is Farida Shaheed, the Special Rapporteur of the UN in the Field of Cultural Rights.


Press release Jan 30, 2015

Fair distribution of natural resources

The lifestyle of Western societies has become an issue that needs to be solved on the social, political and economic level. How the Humanities and Social Sciences can contribute to a sustainable use of resources was the theme of a conference in Basel, organised by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.

Press release (pdf, in German)
Conference website

Jan 27, 2015

Interdisciplinary approaches to cancer treatment

At Swiss universities and clinical institutes, arts scholars and social scientists carry out many interdisciplinary research projects together with health professionals. In order to strengthen the transfer of research results, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences have launched a «Call for paper».
The first prize of the call 2014 was awarded to an article on interdisciplinary approaches to the treatment of elderly patients suffering from cancer, published last week in the Swiss Medical Journal.

Further information

Jan 13, 2015

As of April 2015: House of Academies in Bern

The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences are the largest scientific network in Switzerland. In order to further promote the interdisciplinary collaboration and the dialogue between science and society, SCNAT, SAHS, SAMS and Science et Cité are moving to a new location at Laupenstrasse 7 in Bern. We are looking forward to seeing you at the House of Academies.

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