About ScienceDebate Switzerland

ScienceDebate is an initiative of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences and the Swiss National Science Foundation in view of the parliamentary elections 2015, in cooperation with the online voting help smartvote. ScienceDebate shall enable voters to get an impression about how parties and candidates are dealing with science advice. For this purpose, 11 smartvote questions were selected, on which science provided advice. Because proposals for solution on important questions often are not available in black and white, the party presidents also declare on ScienceDebate their detailed arguments on 13 questions in total.

The party positions were calculated according to the answers of candidates from the seven largest national parties to smartvote (www.smartvote.ch). 2437 candidates of the seven parties (incl. youth wings of political parties and «special lists» that belong to them) answered the questionnaire, which corresponds to a response rate of 86.9% (status as of 23.09.2015). This represents a reliable database for Swiss-wide analyses. Lower response rates may occur in some cantons, however, and especially in the case of small cantons there are questions with no available answers.

The answers from the candidates were rated as follows: Yes = 100, Rather yes = 75, Rather no = 25, No = 0. To obtain a party position, the mean value for Switzerland as a whole or per canton was calculated based on the answers from the candidates of one party (arithmetic mean, represented by a circle). Additionally, the average deviation of the answers from the mean value was calculated as a measure of dispersion (standard deviation, represented by a bar).

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Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences
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Phone +41 (0)31 306 92 20