Using Urban Design for a Better Green Infrastructure in Zurich
By Kevin Vega
What evidence was useful for policymaking?
Understanding the effects of urban design on plant species composition in cities is essential to maintaining biodiversity overall, promoting urban resilience in the face of climate change, and improving life quality for residents. Functional ecosystems can benefit pollinators, reduce urban flooding, and improve air quality –all while looking aesthetically pleasing.
Continue reading Maintaining Plant Biodiversity in Cities
Mitglieder des PSC haben ein Faktenblatt zusammen mit dem Forum
Genforschung Schweiz publiziert, welches die Methoden einer interessierten Öffentlichkeit
verständlich machen will:
Ein neues Faktenblatt der Akademien der Wissenschaften Schweiz gewährt
Ihnen einen Überblick über vier verschiedene Verfahren in der Pflanzenzüchtung
und legt dabei einen Schwerpunkt auf die Anwendung der Genom-Editierung. Das
Faktenblatt wurde von einer Gruppe von Experten und Expertinnen unter der
Leitung des Forums Genforschung verfasst und geprüft.
Das Faktenblatt ist in Deutsch und Französisch unter folgendem Link erhältlich: http://geneticresearch.scnat.ch/fs-plantbreeding
U Grossniklaus, M Messmer, R Peter, J
Romeis und B Studer (2020) Pflanzenzüchtung – von klassischer Kreuzung bis
Genom-Editierung. Swiss Academies Factsheet 15 (3): 10.5281/zenodo.3696456
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
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.
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
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 PSC Proceedings: Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)
Written by Dubravka
Vrdoljak (ETH Zurich, Maria Tereza de Alencar (University of Graz), Anja Tesic
(University of Basel)
alternative food networks (AFNs) developed over the past few years in Zurich
and Basel. AFNs are an umbrella term that encompasses different foci in
sustainable food systems, such as community-supported and urban agriculture,
short food supply chains up to direct farm retail or food cooperatives with the
objectives of shortening the food chain from farmers to consumers, bringing it
closer to urban or peri-urban areas; the promotion of community engagement and
participation; and the reduction of food waste (Moschitz et al., 2018).
three AFNs operating in Zurich and/or Basel, namely Too Good To Go, Urban
Agriculture Basel and Bachsemärt for their goals, visions, interventions and
formats and organized it in the process-oriented Theory of Change (ToC).
we have built ToC analysis based on the informations on the webpages of each
AFN, crucial contributors to diverse agri-food chains. With the help of the
ToC, we could provide compelling evidence that alternative food system
initiatives work with a long-term goal model, even though they don’t clearly
communicate it to the public. This approach has the potential to help emerging
AFN’s to learn from existing ones and to establish a bigger network and best
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.
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:
Continue reading New Publication in GAIA 28/3/2019: Science-policy boundary work by early-stage researchers – Recommendations for teaching, internships and knowledge transfer
How to transfer the knowledge to farmers
By Yuanyuan Huang
What evidence was useful for policymaking?
Huang et al (2018) in close cooperation between University of Zurich and the Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, searched the links between to forests diversity and forest ecosystem services in a large biodiversity experiment in a subtropical forest in China.
Continue reading Fixing carbon in subtropical forest to mitigate climate change
What are the career paths of our alumni in the PhD Program in Science and Policy? At the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center we are interested in knowing what it is that they do. We did a short survey on 32 of our former PhD students: What type of organizations and sectors are they employed today? Are they involved in policy work?
Continue reading Our alumni: where are they now?
What can policy papers and scenarios achieve?
By John Garcia-Ulloa
Oil palm extension remains an important environmental topic given the large negative impacts it can have on tropical biodiversity.
Continue reading Maintaining biodiversity and managing oil palm expansion
John Garcia-Ulloa had developed models and scenarios to understand biodiversity change in oil-palm landscapes under REDD+ initiatives during his science-policy fellowship from PSC and Mercator Foundation Switzerland.
In 2014 a close collaboration between ETH Zurich and IUCN was established to convene stakeholders from the oil palm sector and develop a strategy for IUCN to address the impacts of oil palm expansion on biodiversity. The main activity within the fellow’s internship at the policy Partner was to convene a group of experts to develop guidelines for the protection of biodiversity on oil-palm landscapes for IUCN.