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Additional Publications

Health inequalities research: new methods, better insights?

A new generation of scientific methods can contribute to reducing health inequalities in Europe are helping to better understand health inequalities in Europe. Fully realising this potential will require investment in data infrastructures, according to a new report by European science academies. The Covid-19 pandemic struck disadvantaged groups in society most severely. As a result, this has widened the health gap between socio-economic groups. It is therefore more important than ever to better understand these inequalities as an adequate basis for corrective policy measures. The report was drafted by researchers from the All European Academies (ALLEA) and the Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM).

Addressing climate change and biodiversity together

Better connect climate and biodiversity policies as well as address climate change and biodiversity decline together is central to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). This is the call of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), a global network of more than 140 science academies. Climate change and biodiversity decline are predominantly caused by human activities and have profound consequences for people and the ecosystems on which we depend. The UN conferences on biodiversity (COP15) and on climate change (COP26) in 2021 and 2022 provide an opportunity to focus international attention on the interconnectedness and interdependence of climate change and biodiversity.

Maria J. Santos, University of Zurich and Swiss Biodiversity Forum, contributed to the IAP statement on behalf of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.

IAP Statement
Climate and biodiversity crises: their urgency requires closer global coordination

Global warming is getting faster and faster and biodiversity loss continues. As the two crises potentiate each other, Europe’s science academies urge governments to treat them as one, and as equally urgent. A new European academy report focuses on 16 areas requiring urgent action to shield humanity from the worst: if humanity wants to stop climate change and preserve the biodiversity that it needs for survival, it must change the economic system to one that rewards and incentivises sustainable choices and behaviour.

A systemic approach to the energy transition in Europe

A carbon-neutral future by 2050 is possible, but requires urgent action. The energy transition is more than a purely technical challenge. Making it a reality requires solving a huge systemic problem, coordinating countless individual voluntary investment decisions, consumption and behaviour across Europe. This transformation of the European energy system will affect every part of society, relies on huge investment during the transition and must be done in a socially equitable way. These are the conclusions of a new scientific report produced by the consortium Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA). On this basis and a series of evidence-based policy options, the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors (GCSA) of the European Commission presents key policy recommendations.

GCSA reportSAPEA report
A sea of change: Europe’s future in the Atlantic realm

A new European expert report assesses the latest knowledge on ocean issues and its implications for Europe.

A key finding: the state of the Atlantic adds a layer of variability to local sea level rise in Europe, and the massive loss of ice mass in the Antarctic due to climate change suffices to affect the gravitational pull on the oceans so that they move towards the Northern Hemisphere. Other effects of increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere are increased acidification of the world’s oceans and reduced fishery yields.

This report of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) is launched on the occasion of the UN World Oceans Day on 8 June, thereby emphasising that the health of the oceans is intimately tied to our health.

Decarbonisation of buildings: for climate, health and jobs

A new report by European academy experts calls for policy action in three areas to make buildings in the European Union nearly zero greenhouse gas emitters: construct energy-efficiently to reduce the need for heating and air conditioning or generate renewable energy on site, reduce emissions of the construction industry and supply chain, and design buildings that can be disassembled and recycled at end of their lifetime. These measures would allow the EU to live up to its climate pledge under the Paris Agreement.

The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences contributed to the report by delegating Arno Schlüter (ETH Zurich) as author and Matthias Sulzer (Empa) as reviewer.

Code of conduct for scientific integrity

A group of experts with representatives from the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, the Swiss National Science Foundation, swissuniversities and Innosuisse has drawn up a new code of conduct for scientific integrity. The principles of reliabilityhonestyrespect and accountability form the core of the new code. These values help strengthen a culture of scientific integrity in the long run. One of the chief aims of the code is, to improve scientific integrity in all aspects of research and teaching, in particular in the training and promotion of young scientists. The code takes into account current developments in the areas of open science and social media, in addition to, shedding light on the issue of statutes of limitations.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4707560

PDFPDF (Italiano)
Fact or fake? Tackling science disinformation

European academies call for an improved exchange and coordination on technical and policy measures at a European level to tackle science disinformation.

While disinformation strategies are intoxicating public discourses in many fields, science disinformation is particularly dangerous to democratic governance and society at large. As highlighted by the ongoing pandemic, an undermining of trust in science poses a fundamental threat to political and individual decisions based on evidence and scientific knowledge.

The report has been produced by ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities.

Decarbonisation of the health sector

Drafted by European academies, this document considers the contribution of the health sector to the decarbonisation targets of the European Union. Achieving these targets requires integrated action across all sectors, including the health-care sector with an estimated 5% share in total emissions.

Reducing carbon footprints of health systems, for example by reducing greenhouse gas emissions during construction and running of hospitals and associated transportation, can bring local and near-term benefits to health. There are also considerable opportunities with procurement, for example by providing sustainable and healthy diets for patients.

International sharing of personal health data for research

Legal challenges hamper the sharing of anonymised health data with researchers outside the EU/European Economic Area (EEA), a new report by European academies concludes. Its authors call for solutions to overcome the barriers to ensure timely and straightforward research collaboration in the public sector in the interest of health benefits for European citizens. Delegated by the Swiss Academies, Christian Lovis, Professor of Clinical Informatics at the University of Geneva and of Medical Information Sciences at the Geneva University Hospitals, contributed to this report.

COVID-19: empirical study on vaccine skeptics and strategies to increase the take-up of COVID-19 vaccines

13.7 million new vaccine opponents since pandemic onset;

  • skepticism mostly exacerbated by fears of long-term damage and fast vaccine approval processes, correlates with corona virus denial;
  • 90% of skeptics feel they have no influence over politics, are predominantly AfD-leaning and about 45% attained the lowest level or left secondary school without certification;
  • while new skeptics could be convinced by facts, long-term anti-vaccinationists appear to be unyielding.
Wissenschaftsbarometer COVID-19

In der COVID-19-Pandemie vertraut die Schweizer Bevölkerung der Wissenschaft. Sie befürwortet, dass Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler ihre Expertise in Öffentlichkeit und Politik einbringen, und ist mehrheitlich der Meinung, dass politische Entscheidungen zum Umgang mit der Pandemie auf wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnissen beruhen sollten. Das zeigt die von den Akademien der Wissenschaften Schweiz geförderte COVID-19 Edition des «Wissenschaftsbarometer Schweiz». 

Bulletin 3/20 «Der Nachhaltige Staat – L'État durable» (Bilingue)
SAGW-Bulletin 2/2020: Lebensräume - Lieux de vie

Covid-19-Pandemie, anthropogener Klimawandel, Artensterben, Proteste gegen soziale Ungleichheit. Verschiedene Facetten einer einzigen globalen sozial-ökologischen Krise? Das Dossier reflektiert, seziert, systematisiert die Rolle und die Verantwortung des «nachhaltigen Staats» aus unterschiedlichen Blickwinkeln.


Externe AutorInnen (nach Reihenfolge der Beiträge):
Andrea Eichholzer, Carmen Ghisleni, Marc Inderbinen, Simon Spiegel, Tobias Brücker, Marlyne Sahakian, Sandro Cattacin, Basil Bornemann, Marius Christen, Christine Kaufmann, Karin Ingold, Ivo Wallimann-Helmer, Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, Dominique Bourg, Claus D. Jacobs, Sebâ Topuz, Martin Stuber, Dorothée Aquino, Kantone Waadt, Basel-Stadt, Bern, Manfred Bergman, Vera Eichenauer

Heinz Nauer, unter Mitarbeit von Fabienne Jan, Elodie Lopez, Marlene Iseli & Howald Fosco Biberstein

PDF (in German and French)All Bulletins of the SAGW (German)
Report: Accessing and linking data for research in Switzerland

This report addresses the importance, current practices, and the legal basis for access and linkage of administrative and sensitive data (in particular, personal data) for research in Switzerland. It provides a basis for the development of a research-friendly institutional and regulatory framework that will not only enable wider and more comprehensive access to data for research but also facili-tate data linking while respecting the privacy and data protection rights of individuals.

Report commissioned by the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Science (SAGW) and Swiss Academies.

Report (English)All publications of the SAGW (German / French)
Bulletin 1/20 «Ungleichheit – Inégalité» (in German and French)
SAGW-Bulletin 2/2020: Lebensräume - Lieux de vie

Das Dossier «Ungleichheit – Inégalité» versucht, den Blick zu öffnen, Schlaglichter auf die Expertise der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften in ihrer Breite, ihrer Mehrdimensionalität und ihrer Multiperspektivität zu werfen und auch konzeptionell verwandte Begriffe wie Gerechtigkeit, Differenz und Diversität mitzudenken – und so das Thema als Teilaspekt eines grossen Ganzen zu verstehen.


Heinz Nauer, unter Mitarbeit von Fabienne Jan, Elodie Lopez, Marlene Iseli & Howald Fosco Biberstein

PDF (in German and French)More (in German)
Ein molekulares Skalpell für Eingriffe am Erbgut: Chancen und Risiken des Genome Editings (in German)

Genome Editing – auch «Genomchirurgie» genannt – nutzt den zelleigenen Reparaturmechanismus am Genom, um dieses zu verändern. Damit ermöglicht es präzisere Eingriffe in die Erbsubstanz als die herkömmliche Gentechnik. Die hier vorliegende Kurzfassung basiert auf einer wissenschaftlichen Studie, die im Auftrag von TA-SWISS durchgeführt wurde.


Authors: Alexander Lang, Armin Spök, Malte Gruber, Dominik
Harrer, Caroline Hammer, Florian Winkler, Lukas
Kaelin, Helmut Hönigmayer, Andrea Sommer, Milena
Wuketich, Michael Fuchs, Erich Griessler

PDF (in German)
Blockchain: Capabilities, Economic Viability, and the Socio-Technical Environment

Blockchain is widely considered a new key technology. The Foundation for Technology Assessment (TA-SWISS) has proposed a comprehensive assessment of blockchain technologies. With this publication, TA-SWISS provides the much-needed social contextualisation of blockchain.


Authors: Nils Braun-Dubler, Hans-Peter Gier, Tetiana Bulatnikova, Manuel Langhart, Manuela Merki, Florian Roth, Antoine Burret, Simon Perdrisat

Programmiertes Vertrauen: Chancen und Risiken der Blockchain-Technologie (in German)

Die Kurzfassung der Studie «Blockchain: Capabilities, Economic Viability, and the Socio-Technical Environment» erklärt wie die Blockchain funktioniert. Weiter untersucht sie, wo eine Blockchain Vorteile bringt und wo sie nicht überzeugt. Schliesslich beleuchtet sie das gesellschaftliche Umfeld in dem Blockchain entwickelt wurde und angewendet wird.


Authors: Nils Braun-Dubler, Hans-Peter Gier, Tetiana Bulatnikova, Manuel Langhart, Manuela Merki, Florian Roth, Antoine Burret, Simon Perdrisat

PDF (in German)
Bulletin 1/20 «Ungleichheit – Inégalité» (German and French)

Uns geht es besser denn je! Folgt man Wissenschaftlern wie Steven Pinker ist dies pure Empirie. Dem strauchelnden Individuum mag dies zynisch vorkommen, der Einzelfall dem Statistiker stereotyp erscheinen. Wie immer ist es ist eine Frage der Perspektive.
Das Dossier erhellt die multidimensionale Herausforderung «Ungleichheit» durch Expertise aus den Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften und denkt konzeptionell verwandte Begriffe wie Gerechtigkeit, Differenz und Diversität mit.


Externe AutorInnen (nach Reihenfolge der Beiträge):
Tobias Brücker, Dominique Vinck, Sandro Cattacin, Monica Budowski, Marius Brülhart, Felix Bühlmann, André Mach, Stéphanie Ginalski, Thomas David, Johnny Miller, Sabine Strasser, Janine Dahinden, Martine Schaer, Stefan Groth, Dario Petrini, Laurent Zecha, Florian Müller

PDF (in German and French)All Bulletins of the SAGW (German and French)
Wenn Algorithmen für uns entscheiden: Chancen und Risiken der künstlichen Intelligenz (in German)

Die Studie von TA-SWISS beschäftigt sich eingehend mit den Chancen und Risiken dieser Technologie in den Anwendungsbereichen Arbeit, Bildung und Forschung, Konsum, Medien und Verwaltung. Zur Sprache kommen insbesondere auch allgemeine ethische und rechtliche Aspekte.


Markus Christen, Clemens Mader, Johann Čas, Tarik Abou-Chadi, Abraham Bernstein, Nadja Braun Binder, Daniele Dell'Aglio, Luca Fábián, Damian George, Anita Gohdes, Lorenz Hilty, Markus Kneer, Jaro Krieger-Lamina, Hauke Licht, Anne Scherer, Claudia Som, Pascal Sutter & Florent Thouvenin

PDF (in German)
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