Strengthen scientific policy advice

In analogy to the national context, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences practice policy advice at the international level by contributing scientific expertise to networks and processes, primarily in Europe, but also globally.



Cooperation with EASAC

The European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), the association of the national science academies of the EU Member States, of Switzerland and Norway, advises the EU bodies in the focus areas Biosciences, Energy and Environment. The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences support the work of EASAC by delegating scientific experts to the thematic Steering Panels and to the Working Groups to draft, in some cases in the lead, specific reports as well as to review draft reports.
In the Bureau (Board), the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences are represented through Thierry Courvoisier, who is EASAC President during 2017-19.

On invitation of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, EASAC met in Geneva in November 2014. In his welcome note, State Secretary Mauro Dell'Ambrogio emphasised the importance of this association in the context of the scientific relations between Switzerland and Europe.

Representation in EASAC Steering Panels

Contributions to EASAC reports

Circular economy: indicators and priorities for critical materials (2016)
Lead author: Gunter Stephan (University of Bern)
Reviewers: Xaver Edelmann (World Resources Forum), Helmut Weissert (ETH Zurich)

Marine sustainability in an age of changing oceans and seas (2016)
Reviewer: Patricia Holm (University of Basel), Fortunat Joos (University of Bern)

Circular economy: a commentary from the perspectives of the natural and social sciences (2015)
Lead author: Gunter Stephan (University of Bern)

Gain of function: experimental applications relating to potentially pandemic pathogens (2015)
Author: Ursula Jenal (Jenal & Partners Biosafety Consulting & Forum Genetic Research of the Swiss Academy of Sciences SCNAT)
Reviewer: Dominique Belin (University of Geneva)

Marine sustainability in an age of changing oceans and seas (2015)
Reviewers: Patricia Holm (University of Basel), Fortunat Joos (University of Bern)

Ecosystem services, agriculture and neonicotinoids (2015)
Lead author: Peter Neumann (University of Bern)
Reviewer: Edward Mitchell (University of Neuchâtel)

European space exploration: strategic considerations of human versus robotic exploration (2014)
Lead author: Thierry Courvoisier (University of Geneva & President of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences)
Reviewers: Nicolas Thoma, Rafael Rodrigo and Roger-Maurice Bonnet (University of Bern)

Carbon capture and storage in Europe (2013)
Authors: Marco Mazzotti and Stefan Wiemer (ETH Zurich)

Trends in extreme weather events in Europe: implications for national and European Union adaptation strategies (2013)
Authors: Erich Fischer (ETH Zurich), Bruno Schädler (University of Bern)

Planting the future: opportunities and challenges for sustainable crop production (2013)
Author: Jörg Romeis (Agroscope ART)
Reviewers: Roland Hohmann (Federal Office for the Environment FOEN), Margreth Keiler (University of Bern), Boris Orlowsky (ETH Zurich)

The current status of biofuels in the European Union, their environmental impacts and future prospects (2012)
Reviewers: Irmi Seidl (Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL), Rainer Zah (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology Empa)

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing for health-related purposes in the European Union: the view from EASAC and FEAM (2012)
Reviewers: Sabina Gallati (University Hospital Bern), Karl Heinimann (University of Basel)

Impact of engineered nanomaterials on health: considerations for benefit-risk assessment (2011)
Lead authors: Ueli Aebi (University of Basel), Peter Gehr (University of Bern), Harald Krug (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials and Technology Empa), Denis Monard (Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research FMI)

Drug-resistant tuberculosis: challenges, consequences and strategies for control (2009)
Author: Stewart Cole (EPF Lausanne)

Ecosystems services and biodiversity in Europe (2009)
Author: Andrea Rinaldo (EPF Lausanne)

Combating the threat of zoonotic infections (2008)
Author: Bruno Gottstein (University of Bern)

Migration and infectious diseases (2008)
Author: Bruno Gottstein (University of Bern)

Contribution to EU Scientific Advice Mechanism

A consortium of five European academy networks launched the project "Science Advice for Policy by European Academies" in December 2016. With Horizon 2020 funding, the project aims to improve EU policy making by delivering timely, independent and trans-disciplinary scientific evidence via the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM). The project combines more than 100 academies in over 40 European countries, organised in five umbrella organisations that span all scientific disciplines, among them ALLEA (All European Academies) and EASAC (European Academies Science Advisory Council). As a member of both, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences bolster the Scientific Advice Mechanism by nominating scientific experts and through their former president Thierry Courvoisier as EASAC-President (2017-19).



Delegation of scientists to multinational negotiations

Approaches to resolving the global challenges to mankind are often developed at United Nations conferences, where Switzerland is usually represented by official delegations. As appropriate, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences nominate experts with relevant expertise.

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