The House of Academies
In 2015, the following organisations moved into common offices to further promote the interdisciplinary collaboration and the dialogue between science and society:
- the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT)
- the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHS)
- the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS)
- the foundation Science et Cité
- the umbrella organisation Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.
With a ceremony including 50 invited guests, the House of Academies was officially opened on Tuesday, 16 June 2015. In his opening speech, Thierry Courvoisier, President of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, said:
«Many big problems, such as the development of climate and biodiversity, can only be solved on an interdisciplinary basis, just as the open questions with regard to scientific and medical ethics. The energy turnaround will not be possible without us reshaping the society fundamentally. And for this we need sociologists just as we need scientists and engineers.
To address the interdisciplinary problems, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences work closely together. The spatial proximity in the House of Academies will greatly facilitate this collaboration.»
Susan M. Gasser, Director of the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel, appealed in her ceremonial speech for an open scientific culture:
«The House of Academies is a symbol of the tradition of knowledge in Switzerland. It is a sign that we value and promote education and curiosity for science in our country. Yet, the more we restrict and try to direct research with regulations, the less fruitful it will be. We cannot know today which research questions will yield the scientific breakthroughs of tomorrow.
So, what does Swiss research need to contribute to preserving our quality of life? We must remain hospitable for brilliant minds from all over the world. There is no Swiss molecular biology – there is only molecular biology.
Also, we need women in science. Women make up 50% of the brains on this planet. If we don't welcome them in the careers of research, we lessen our chances for scientific breakthroughs by 50%.»
Afterwards Mauro Dell'Ambrogio, State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, honoured the work of the Academies:
«One of the tasks which the politics assigned to the sciences is to promote the MINT disciplines. We note with satisfaction that today there are more and more male and female students of natural and technical sciences. This progress has also been possible thanks to the work coordinated by the Academies together with approximately 200 other organisations.»
We are looking forward to seeing you at the House of Academies.
Haus der Akademien
Phone +41 (0)31 306 92 20