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Scientific Policy Advice in Switzerland: A Case Study on Climate Change and General Insights

  • Roger Pfister (a1)

The Swiss Academies have the experience of three decades of facilitating a dialogue between science and society. This includes the provision of scientific knowledge to policy decision-makers. Climate change is a topic that has been important in this context from the beginning. A recent example of science policy work in this domain has been the analysis of the findings of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),1 and the formulation of recommendations for policy-making at a national level in order to tackle the challenges posed by climate change on the population and the environment of Switzerland. Taking this specific example, the current paper showcases how academies can provide scientific knowledge at the science–policy interface to help tackle real-world challenges. With reference to this case study, and based on their longer-term science-policy engagement, this contribution concludes by describing the elements considered as essential for a successful dialogue between the actors in science and policy-making.

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1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC (2013-2014) Fifth Assessment Report: WG I: The Physical Science Basis; WG II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability; WG III: Mitigation of Climate Change; Synthesis Report (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
2.Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (2016) Brennpunkt Klima Schweiz: Grundlagen, Folgen und Perspektiven (Bern; Report 11(5)).
5.Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (2015) Engaging Politics with Science (Bern; Swiss Academies Report 10(5)).
6.Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (2017) Spotlight on Climate in Switzerland: Briefly Explained (Bern; Factsheet 12 (2)).
7.In this format, scientists present their work in local coffee shops, and anyone is welcome to participate free of charge. The participants treat themselves to a coffee or beer, ask questions, voice doubts and praise, or simply listen and let themselves be inspired. The topics are selected on the basis of societal relevance and the latest research results.
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European Review
  • ISSN: 1062-7987
  • EISSN: 1474-0575
  • URL: /core/journals/european-review
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