Category Archives: PSC Publications

proceedings of the Response Summer School 2021

Summer schools can enrich the learning experience of participants as we show in the proceedings of the Response Summer School 2021: Responsible Research, Innovation  and Transformation in Food, Plant and Energy Sciences.

How can we teach PhD student’s ways to generate varieties of transformative solutions to urgencies ahead?

It is a summary of the learning journeys of the participants on the five case studies: Digital technologies for urban micro farms, circular approaches in the food system, vertical farming, sustainable and resilient energy, food and biodiversity landscapes, stewardship of land use change?

Report (PDF)

Citation: Response Summer School «Responsible Research, Innovation and Transformation in Food, Plant and Energy Sciences» Learning Journey and Reflection. Melanie Paschke (ed.). Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center, 2021. With contributions by: Manuel Belanche Guadas, Linda Brodnicke, Dusan Denic, Danli Fei, Linda Frattini, Laurent Giguère, Reah Gonzales, Monika Katarzyna Goralczyk, Katharina Jung, Xeniya Kim, Simon Landauer, Yuanyuan Liang, Alberto Linares Quiros, Simone Markoff, Bessie Noll, Dabwiso Sakala, Fei Wu, and Francesca Zuffa: https://www.research-collection.ethz.ch/handle/20.500.11850/523545.2                                        

                                          

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Conclusions from 11 years of PSC-Mercator Fellowship Program: evaluation report

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The Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center finished 11 years of successful cooperation with the Mercator Foundation Switzerland. 8 fellows finished their theses and generated welcome inputs for policymaking in biodiversity, land use and agriculture, climate change in the alpine areas, applying a new barcoding tool to trace illegal logging of rosewood or international emission policies linked to deforestation. 


In spring 2021 the PSC has set out to evaluate its long-term efforts in the PSC-Mercator Fellowship Program. PSC now published a best-practice report addressing two main questions: (i) How effective has been the competence-oriented transdisciplinary teaching? (ii) What worked well and what can be improved? The aim was to identify: (i) the impact of the PSC graduate fellowship programs, and (ii) the implementation measures that may improve future programs.


Recommendations 2021-2024:

Capacity building    Offer training in transdisciplinary methods and tools for PIs, too (Fishbowl, PSC Retreat, 2021). Consider cross-departmental research and training programs that increase visibility and transdisciplinary research capacity (Interview 1, 2021).

Best practices and failing stories    Provide “hands-on” examples of successful PhD projects to motivate students to experiment with transdisciplinary research. Stories of failures early on in the training process are also a useful resource (Interviews 1 & 2, 2021). Include formats for peer-learning at the very beginning of the fellowship program (Student, PSC Retreat, 2021).

Commitment and engagement    Design the program together with the PI for him/her to fully commit to it from the beginning (Interviews 1 & 3, 2021). Transdisciplinary programs rely individual commitment and build    on such relationships (Interviews 1 & 2, 2021). “Partners should define their responsibilities at the beginning of the project by mutual agreement” (Interview 2, 2021).

In-house advisor    Allow time and resources for an “in-house advisor”. His/her role is to accompany the scientific and policy processes, while “helping the parties in their integrative efforts and mentoring.    During the research process, this advisor will ensure that the participatory process is fair” (Interview 2, 2021).

Long-term institutional support    Emphasize the need for continuous institutional support and reasonable time frames in view of coordinating and accompanying required for transdisciplinary processes.

References:

 Dahinden, M., Vienni Baptista, B., Paschke, M. (2022). Going transdisciplinary. How to implement impactful transdisciplinary research and education programs in plant sciences. Evaluation Report. Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center: https://www.research-collection.ethz.ch/handle/20.500.11850/526113

Following up the summer school 2018: PSC published proceedings

Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center: Proceedings of the PlantHUB Summer School 2018, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Plant Sciences.

Melanie Paschke (ed.). With contributions by: Manuela Dahinden, Gregory Grin, Melanie Paschke, Christine Rösch, Daan Schuurbiers, Foteini Zampati, Camilo Chiang, Franco Conci, Claudio Cropano, Florian Cueni, Seydina Issa Diop, Daniel Grogg, Manuel Nolte, Ina Schlathölter, Giacomo Potente and Maximilian Vogt.

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The laboratory is in many ways still a protected space, in which (especially young) researchers are effectively shielded from outside pressures by their lab directors (Rip, 2003). The challenge for educational programs that aim to raise the level of attention to RRI issues is, therefore, to demonstrate the added value of social and ethical reflection for the researcher’s own work.

Continue reading Following up the summer school 2018: PSC published proceedings

PSC Proceedings: Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)

Following up the summer school 2018 the PSC published proceedings:

Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center: Proceedings of the PlantHUB Summer School 2018, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Plant Sciences.

Melanie Paschke (ed.). With contributions by: Manuela Dahinden, Gregory Grin, Melanie Paschke, Christine Rösch, Daan Schuurbiers, Foteini Zampati, Camilo Chiang, Franco Conci, Claudio Cropano, Florian Cueni, Seydina Issa Diop, Daniel Grogg, Manuel Nolte, Ina Schlathölter, Giacomo Potente and Maximilian Vogt.

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Social transformation through innovation and research is a key element in the discussion as to how the global community can overcome its complex problems related to environmental and economic constraints in a resource-limited world. Innovation conflicts arise when transformation is mainly technology-driven and does not take up ethical, legal and social issues. In response, scientists are today being asked to play a role in the science-in society dialogue.

The laboratory is in many ways still a protected space, in which (especially young) researchers are effectively shielded from outside pressures by their lab directors (Rip, 2003). The challenge for educational programs that aim to raise the level of attention to RRI issues is, therefore, to demonstrate the added value of social and ethical reflection for the researcher’s own work.

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New Publication in GAIA 28/3/2019: Science-policy boundary work by early-stage researchers – Recommendations for teaching, internships and knowledge transfer

In our newest publication in GAIA (GAIA 28/3/2019) based on a Delphi study we summarized opportunities and challenges of our educational model: Real-world experience through secondments and co-creation of knowledge with policy organizations facilitates boundary crossing of research results to policymaking in their later work.

Most important for the success of policy work are institutional incentives and resources to engage as academic supervisor and early-stage scientist in the process:

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New book: Agriculture in Transformation

PSC has summarized the diverse field of sustainable transformation of agriculture with contribution of Philipp Aerni, Gurbir Bhullar, Allan Buckwell, Markus Frank, Marcel van der Heijden, Hans Herren, John Ingram, François Meienberg, Michael Meissle, Melanie Paschke, Martin Schmid, Franziska Stössel, Raphael Wittmer, Gunda Züllich et al.

Agriculture in Transformation. Concepts for agriculture production systems that are socially fair environmentally safe. Proceedings of the PSC Summer Schools 2014 and 2016. For download: https://doi.org/10.3929/ethz-b-000218321 Continue reading New book: Agriculture in Transformation