Call 1 for PhD applications – Deadline Dec 1, 2019

Call 1 for PhD applications within the RESPONSE Doctoral Programme «to society and policy needs through plant, food and energy sciences»

RESPONSE DP is offering 8 early-stage researcher’s positions for 36 months (100%) at the interface of science and policy, as well as science and innovation at one of the three world-leading academic host organization – ETH Zurich, University of Zurich or University of Basel.

RESPONSE DP will train ESRs to reflect on their role as scientists in society, contributing with evidence to policymaking and to build capacities to address global challenges in the areas of sustainable food systems, sustainable energy systems and sustainable land use decisions.

For more information about RESPONSE, open positions and further steps (i.e. submit your application), have a look at:

https://www.plantsciences.uzh.ch/en/research/fellowships/response.html

ETH Zurich, University of Zurich and University Basel are dedicated to promoting the role of women in science, and, therefore, explicitly invites women to apply.

Science and Policy Mentoring: Careers in Science or Policy, or both?

11.09; 25.09; 09.10; 23.10; 13.11; 11.12 (16:00–19:00 h)

This course offers a perspective on possible career paths at the interface of science with policy. Recent graduates, including some PSC PhD program “Science and Policy” alumni, and more senior professionals will present their career paths in government, politics, NGOs or private companies.

Course registration required.

Contact: Dr. Luisa Last, luisa.last@usys.ethz.ch, +41 44 632 02 71

Co-production of pollination services in coffee plantations

Developing sustainable management scenarios

By Charlotte Pavageau

What was the main impact for policy?

Pavageau et al in close cooperation between ETH Zurich and the
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), India searched the links between pollination service, coffee production and land use in coffee plantations in India.

Land-use allocation has multiple and complex economic and environmental implications. Thus designing optimal land-use is a key challenge for decision-makers and policies aiming at promoting sustainable development for a given region. The results of this study contributed to inform land-use and agricultural policies on the consequences of different collective decision-making scenarios on coffee productivity, economic gain and biodiversity conservation, by using landscape-scale ecosystem services models. This is important for better planning of land-use policy.

Continue reading Co-production of pollination services in coffee plantations

Molecular identification methods for carrying out origin analysis for illegally logged and transported Malagasy rosewood

By Sonja Hassold

What was the main impact for policy?

Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot and its forests harbor a vast diversity of precious woods. For decades, ever increasing demand for timber on the international market and its high commercial value have led to massive illegal exploitation of rosewood, palisander and ebony species in Madagascar. Controlling the international trade of illegally logged timber is challenging. One reason is that logs and sawn wood are difficult to assign to species or geographic origin (provenance).

Continue reading Molecular identification methods for carrying out origin analysis for illegally logged and transported Malagasy rosewood

What`s next after the ECJ judgement on gene editing?

“We need a societal discourse in which the political and ethical dimensions of the research in question are explored. What sort of agricultural system do we want? How are the new technologies to be used?” emphazised Prof. Matthias Mahlmann, lawyer and member of the Swiss Ethics Commission for Non-Human Biotechnology, at a recent panel discussion on genome editing at the www.tnam2019.ethz.ch.

The participants of the TNAM 2019 conference take a tri-national view on the main issues and potential consequences of the ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on organisms obtained by mutagenesis. The PSC has summarized the discussions at: https://www.plantsciences.uzh.ch/en/outreach/roundtable.html

Continue reading What`s next after the ECJ judgement on gene editing?

ENGAGE with Society: Noch 8 Tage bis Bewerbungsschluss

Noch acht Tage können Fragen und Anliegen an unsere Forschenden formuliert werden! Das neue partizipative Forschungsformat gibt Forschenden des PSC und Partnern aus der Öffentlichkeit und Praxis die Möglichkeit, für Fragestellungen und Herausforderungen einer nachhaltigen, ökologischen und ressourcenschonenden Landwirtschaft eines alternativen und regional-orientierten Ernährungssystems Forschungswissen zu generieren und dieses gemeinschaftlich für die Praxis zu übersetzen.

Continue reading ENGAGE with Society: Noch 8 Tage bis Bewerbungsschluss

EPSO statement on the Court of Justice of the EU ruling regarding mutagenesis and the GMO Directive

EPSO publishes its statement to the ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on organisms obtained by mutagenesis (case C-528/16) stating that the ruling disregards scientific evidence. (re-post Feb 19, 2019 | EPSO, WG Agricultural Technologies)

Genome editing is not the only answer to current challenges of agriculture and society, but it represents an important tool for harnessing plant science knowledge toward a future-ready agriculture, for allowing Europe to play a leading role in innovative plant science, and to contribute to the bioeconomy by boosting the performance of underutilised plant species and biological resources. In the drive to achieve sustainable development goals, no useful tool should be neglected. EPSO supports a science-based change to the present European legislation and proposes to establish a legislation adapted to future technological developments by increasing emphasis on product-based risk assessment. Meanwhile, further tangible commitment is needed to support, inform and communicate about innovative plant science and its societal role.

Gemeinsame Planung von Forschung: ENGAGE with Society

Nachhaltigkeitsinitiativen, Landwirte und pflanzenwissenschaftliche Forschung engagieren sich gemeinsam für ökologische Landwirtschaft und alternative Ernährungssysteme.

Bewerbungsschluss für die Formulierung der Anliegen am 20. April 2019 und Teilnahme an der gemeinsamen Ideenwerkstatt am 10. Mai 2019, 13:00 – 17:00.

Worum gehts?

Wir laden Sie ein, Ihre Fragen und Anliegen an die Forschenden des Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center (Universitäten Zürich und Basel, ETH Zürich) in den Themenbereichen ökologische Landwirtschaft und alternative Ernährungssysteme zu formulieren.

Wir möchten mit Ihnen zusammen eine evidenzbasierte, naturwissenschaftliche Lösung oder Ergebnisse zu Ihrer Fragestellung erarbeiten. Zusammen definieren wir die wissenschaftliche Fragestellung und den Forschungsprozess und stossen gemeinsam Transformationsprozesse an – damit wir etwas bewirken für Nachhaltigkeit und Ihre Initiative.

Continue reading Gemeinsame Planung von Forschung: ENGAGE with Society

Are alternative food networks a way to support the implementation of SDG 12?

A case study report can be downloaded: Are alternative food networks a way to support the implementation of SDG 12? . Written by Misato Today (ETH) and Nadine Engbersen (ETH), PhD Program in Plant Sciences, ETH Zurich.

Are alternative food networks (AFNs) a way to support the implementation of SDG 12? In their case study Misato Toda and Nadine Engebersen compared Swiss and Japanese AFNs. These enable consumers to purchase locally-grown and organic food directly from farmers. They offer possibilities for consumers to learn about seasonal products.  The closer relationship between farmers and consumers can create a relationship built on trust, which is contradictory to the relationship many consumers have with large food retailers. However, they need political support.

The seminar “Sustainable Plant Systems” (VVZ: 551-0209-00L) is organized by the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center for MSc and PhD students of ETH Zurich, University of Zurich and University of Basel every autumn term.