Special events

Panel discussion on “What`s next after the EJC judgement on gene editing”

Date: 11 April, 16:00 – 17:30

Location: Audimax ETH Zurich

As part of The Tri-National Arabidopsis Meeting (TNAM 2019) on April 10 – 12 2019.

The 200 participants take a tri-national view on the main issues and potential consequences of the ruling of the European Court of Justice (EJC) on organisms obtained by mutagenesis.

Invited guests:

Holger Puchta, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, DE; Armin, Spök, Graz University of Technology Science, Technology and Society Unit, AT; Anne-Gabrielle Wuest-Saucy, Federal Office of Environment, CH

The panel discussion is organized by PlantHUB – European Industrial Doctorate funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 722338.


October 24, 2018: Public Round Table “Urban Agriculture – Fad or Future: Should tomorrow’s cities grow their own food?”

Event Flyer

Date: 24. October, 2018, 17:15 to 19:00 pm

Location: ETH Zurich, LEE E 101

Urban agriculture has the potential to contribute to food security and social well-being in cities while simultaneously increasing overall sustainability of food production. However, many uncertainties remain with respect to potential risks, limitations, and overall
feasibility. During this Public Round Table, experts will discuss future opportunities and challenges in order to inform the public about the manifold aspects of urban agriculture.

Speakers: Giorgio Gianquinto, University of Bologna; Heidrun Moschitz, FiBL; Joëlle Salomon Cavin, University of Lausanne; Fabian Weinlaender, Entrepreneur


September 10 – 15, 2018: PSC summer school „Responsible Research and Innovation in Plant Sciences” at Einsiedeln, Switzerland.

Our summer school series (since 2010) on some of the most tackling topics of current science-society interface has been evaluated positively for years now as mind-opening experience.

Program: http://www.plantsciences.uzh.ch/teaching/summerschool.html

Registration: Please send an e-mail to Romy Kohlmann (romy.kohlmann@usys.ethz.ch)

Abstract: Social transformation through innovation and research are key elements in the discussion on how the global community could overcome its complex problems related to environmental and economic constraints in a resource-limited world. Innovation conflicts arise when transformation is mainly technological driven and not integrating ethical, legal and social issues. In response, scientists are asked to take a role in science-in-society dialogue.

What does science-in-society mean? Knowledge that is adapted to societal needs is co-produced between different stakeholders including scientists. Spaces for social learning and transformation are created. Public engagement is key in this process – welcoming civil society actors as partners to express their values and interests in techno-scientific and innovation choices. We have to re-think the scientific research process, opening spaces for the public at the beginning of a research project to come together with the scientists and reflect on the question, which innovation and research should be fostered: By whom? Why? In which ways? Says who?

In this summer school, we will implement the responsible research and innovation framework (RRI) of the European Union to exemplary research field as plant breeding, smart farming, digitalization in agriculture or genome editing (CRISPR/Cas-method) in plant sciences and to your own research projects.

We guide you through the science-in-society research processes that includes the following dimensions: Anticipating a wide range of possible futures with the public and stakeholders. Become reflective about involved values and interests. Opening the research process to all actors, providing them with meaningful information, including different perspectives and expertise across a diversity of communities. And, be responding and adapting research to societal needs and views.

Invited speakers will give insight into their research field, conduct interactive workshops and take part in discussions. They will act as mentors in the case studies group work, which will be available as summer school proceedings.

Invited speakers:

  • Christian Pohl (ETH Zurich, CH)
  • Daan Schuurbiers (De Proeffabriek, NL)
  • Grégory Grin (Fri Up, CH)
  • Bernadett Oehlen (FiBL, CH)
  • Eduardo Perez (WFSC, ETH Zurich, CH)
  • Jochen Markard (ETH Zurich, CH)
  • Christine Rösch (Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS), D)
  • Maria Ferreira dos Santos (University of Zurich, CH)
  • Melanie Paschke (Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center, PSC, CH)
  • and others

This summer school is supported by PlantHUB, a European Industrial Doctoral Programme (EID) funded by the H2020 PROGRAMME Marie Curie Actions – People, Initial Training Networks (GA 722338).


Lemons or Lemonade? Public engagement with science: relevance and methods

Event Flyer

Date: 10. April, 2017, 9:15 to 16:00 pm

Location: ETH, MM C78.1 (Alumi Pavilion)

Public engagement with science strengthens the legitimacy of research and will contribute to a more sustainable future. The kind of future researchers want to contribute to is a matter of normative values and social responsibility. Consequently, research is socially, politically and ethically entangled. Because the credibility of science is at stake, public  dialogue is imperative and should not be just promises to funding agencies. In this one-day symposium, relevance, approaches and examples of successful public engagement with science will be presented. In workshops, we will discuss what can be gained for science in general and for research projects of participants.

Speakers: Christoph Beuttler, Stiftung Risiko Dialog; Melanie Paschke, Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center (PSC); Brian Wynne, University of Lancaster (UK); Antoinetta Di Guilio, University of Basel; Juanita Schläpfer and Sascha Ismail (both PSC)


Bridging Science and Policy –  IDP BRIDGES Final Event 2017

Event Flyer

Date: 5. April, 2017, 4:15 to 8:00 pm

Location: UZH Main Building, Aula, Room KOL-G-201 (Rämistrasse 71 8006 Zürich)

The Zurich-Basel Plant Center is pleased to invite you to the public final event of the Marie Curie Fellowship program IDP BRIDGES – Bridging Science and Policy. At this event, we will be featuring a key note talk given by  Marco Lambertini, Director General at WWF International. He will present highlights of the Living Planet Report 2016. He will show how scientific evidence has been integrated in this report and how researchers can actively contribute to WWF. For example, to strategy papers. Moreover, he will define the role of WWF International as an NGO at the interface of policy, science and the civic sector. Subsequently, the IDP BRIDGES PhD fellows will present and discuss their PhD projects, which they are going to finalize soon.


4:15 Welcome and synthesis from IDP Bridges

4:30 Keynote talk (Marco Lambertini, WWF International)

5:15 Discussion

6:00 Presentation of PhD Project pitches

6:15 Dialogue session with the IDP Bridges Fellows