Strenghten human rights and ethics in science

The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences engage in different ways in the areas of human rights and ethics.

Human Rights

The «Delegate for Human Rights» of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences works at the interface between science and human rights. Martina Caroni, Chair in International, Constitutional and Comparative Law at the University of Lucerne executes this function since 2017. The Delegate takes appropriate action in cases of violations of the human rights of scholars due to their scientific work and she promotes the pertinence of human rights in science. The Delegate seeks cooperation with partners nationally (e.g. Scholars at Risk Swiss Section) and internationally (e.g. International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies).
International Conference «Academic freedom: a universal right at stake!?» (2017)
Academic freedom is a core principle that is critical for the conduct of science and its progress. It encompasses the engagement in scholarly practices and the exchange of scientific ideas without interference or suppression. Although guaranteed in several national constitutions and internationally, the rights associated with academic freedom are increasingly being encroached upon in recent years in different places and different ways. Seriously concerned about this tendency, the conference addressed its implications at individual and institutional level as well as possible countermeasures.
Workshop «Ethical and legal responsibility in international research» (2016)
Internationally active researchers can be confronted with difficult ethical and legal questions – for example when cooperating with politically corrupt local structures, when working on projects funded from doubtful financial resources or when collaborating with researchers in countries imposed to international sanctions. Based on a report of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, this symposium addresses the responsibility in international research by means of specific case examples.
International Conference «The Human Right to Science» (2015)
Scientists are entitled to human rights – but people also have a right to scientific progress and its applications. This  conference addressed «The Human Right to Science» by taking the example of seed science and seed policy. Keynote speaker was Farida Shaheed, Special Rapporteur of the UN in the Field of Cultural Rights.
See also:

Ethics in science

Within the framework of their focus area «Scientific integrity», the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences are also engaged internationally.

In Europe: Lead in drafting the statement on private funding in the scientific enterprise (2015) as part of their cooperation with the Working Group «Science and Ethics» of the All European Academies (ALLEA)

Globally: Support for the «Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science» of the International Council for Science (ICSU; 2010-16). Based on the scientific conference «Private sector – academia interactions» that this committee organised in 2011, the Swiss Academies held the workshop «Das Spannungsverhältnis von Wissenschaft und Industrie am Beispiel des Sponsoring von Lehrstühlen» in Bern in 2012 that resulted in the above-mentioned ALLEA statement.

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