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 “”


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»

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 

"Autonomy in medicine": Publication and Save the Date

In 2016 the event series "Autonomy in medicine" of the SAMS and the National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics (NCE) focused on the importance of the relationship. What role does the relationship with physicians, nurses and relatives play for self-determined health decisions? The publication on the conference places the current autonomy debate in a larger context and describes whether and how approaches as "relational autonomy" or "assisted autonomy" provide benefits as compared to the classical "decision-making autonomy".
The title of the conference 2017 is "Autonomy and Care". Often health issues for persons lacking the capacity to consent require far-reaching decisions – be it unconscious accident victims, newborns or people suffering from advanced dementia. Who decides in such cases? And according to which standards? Join the discussion and reserve 30 June 2017 for the conference in Berne.

The publication is available as PDF under Publications.

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