Swiss scientific community against isolationism

Ecopop initiative would be detrimental to Swiss research

Nov 13, 2014 | MARTINA PETER
Swiss scientists are taking a stand: The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences have issued a warning about the Ecopop initiative and its impact on Switzerland as a centre for research. Adoption of the initiative would mean "the end of research at the current level." In addition, a committee of renowned scientists was recently formed - the "Research in a cosmopolitan Switzerland" campaign. This committee is led by Zurich neuroscientist Adriano Aguzzi and is campaigning against the increasing political trend towards isolationism. Its patrons include, among others, the Presidents of ETH Zurich and EPFL, Lino Guzzella (January 2015) and Patrick Aebischer, as well as Empa Director Gian-Luca Bona and the four Nobel laureates Richard Ernst, Kurt Wüthrich, Rolf Zinkernagel and Georg Bednorz.



The aim of the Ecopop initiative is to drastically restrict immigration to Switzerland in order to slow population growth.  If the initiative was adopted, research in Swiss industry and at universities would no longer be possible at current levels because such activities rely heavily on exchanges of personnel with other countries. As a result, Switzerland would no longer be prepared for the economic, social, medical and environmental challenges of the future. The Board of Directors of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences therefore recommends rejection of the initiative.

Link to the press release (german or french version) issued by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. The document does not exist in english.


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