ScienceComm'20 – September 17th 2020 in Solothurn

This year, mainly targeted speakers were invited.

Programme is available in German and French.

Emotions are everywhere – even in science

Emotions permeate everything – and are therefore difficult to grasp. In its March 2019 issue, the Swiss research magazine Horizons explored the question of how they are nevertheless captured in the sciences. On the one hand, the magazine takes a very sober view of emotions: where they are located in the body, what role they play in dealing with artificial intelligence and whether they are really universal. On the other hand, researchers describe how their own projects brought tears to their eyes or made them completely happy for a moment.

Articles can be found here.

Horizons is the showcase for scientific research in Switzerland and is accessible to everyone free of charge. It is published by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF and the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences a+.

Keynotes ScienceComm'20

September 17th 2020


Katja Rost is full professor of sociology and private lecturer in economics at the University of Zurich. Her research focuses on economic and organizational sociology, digital sociology, social networks and diversity. She is a member of the University Council of the University of Lucerne, President of the Equal Opportunities Commission of the University of Zurich and Deputy Chair of the «Center for Higher Education and Science Studies».

We heard an interesting and inspiring talk of Katja Rost: «About the limits of rationality in a society that trusts in the rational».


Fabrice Leclerc, Entrepreneur and a life advocate.
While scooping ice-cream to finance his studies, he ended up a few years later being the CEO of Häagen Dazs. He has founded and spearheaded the business Innovation Labs. of Fortune 100 corporations including L’Oréal Prestige, SKY and Apple where he partnered with Steve Jobs. Fabrice is an angel of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and in the Silicon Valley / California. He has recently received the Patagonia award for the creation of the eternal valley, a wildlife sanctuary, dedicated to the quest for natural longevity and elements conservation.

We heard an interesting talk of Fabrice Leclerc: «The Power of Instinct».

Keynote and moderation of the public event 

September 16th 2020 (in german)

The evening before, we also invite all interested parties to a public and interactive event with the renowned climate researcher Thomas Stocker. With contributions from students of the Kantonsschule Solothurn, the Climate Youth of the Canton of Solothurn, the RestEssBar, the start-up Planted and the 2000 Watt Society of the region. Moderation: Sandra Boner. You can find further information here: The clock is ticking - Thinking about hot air, cool visions and courageous steps with climatologist Thomas Stocker


© Remo Eisner, Bern

Thomas Stocker obtained a PhD in Natural Sciences of ETH Zürich. Since 1993 he is Professor of Climate and Environmental Physics at the University of Bern. From 2008 to 2015 he served as Co-Chair of Working Group I of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that provided the scientific foundation of the Paris Agreement. Thomas Stocker holds two honorary doctorates of the University of Versailles and ETH Zürich and received numerous awards for his work. He is a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the German Academy Leopoldina, and the Italian Accademia dei Lincei. In 2017 he was awarded the Swiss Science Prize Marcel Benoist.


Sandra Boner gained her first moderation experience at the Solothurn local channel Intro TV, where she led through the weather and news show. A few years later she moved to SRF1, where she has been presenting the weather show SRF Meteo ever since. It is the variety and complexity of the weather that made Sandra Boner decide to deal with meteorology. In addition to weather, Sandra Boner moderates a wide variety of events. Sandra Boner has close ties to Solothurn and is therefore the ideal presenter for the public event of ScienceComm'20.

Prix Média and Prix Média Newcomer

On the occasion of ScienceComm'20, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences award the Prix Média for journalistic excellence in research and science and the Prix Média Newcomer, which honours young talents with innovative ideas for science journalism.

As a result of the transformation of the media, high-quality, independent science journalism is particularly important. With this award, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences recognize the important role of journalists, especially in times of a pandemic. Media professionals develop complex topics, bundle facts, question and prepare their findings for a broad audience.

Optimus Agora Prize

Dominique de Quervain and Carmen Sandi are being awarded the Optimus Agora Prize. Their project «Stress» encourages interaction with the public.

Stress is part of everyday life. Better understanding it, and knowing how to prevent situations that cause it, improves our quality of life. That’s why neuroscientists Dominique de Quervain, of the University of Basel, and Carmen Sandi, of EPFL, have launched the Agora «Stress» project, which is supported by the SNSF. 

Panel discussion «How emotional is science?»

Formulate research questions, analyze, report on results. Is science sober and objective or emotional? Scientists and journalists discuss the emergence and communication of research results and the roles of science and journalism.

Marcel Tanner in conversation with Huma Khamis, L. Suzanne Suggs and Daniel Probst.


Marcel Tanner is the president of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences and is the head of the Public Health Group as well as on the advisory board of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force. He is Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology and Medical Parasitology at the University of Basel. Since 2017 he has been the president of the Federal Commission for Sexual Health (FCSH). From 1997 to 2015 he was the director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, where he played a leading role in the development of malaria vaccines. n addition to his work in research, Marcel Tanner’s main interests were building up capacities and working with the North-South-Partnership, which reflects the developmentIfakara Health Institute in Tanzania.

Huma Khamis.jpeg

Huma Khamis is a science journalist and has been with Radio RTS since 2013. She works as a journalist for the program CQFD  which deals with science and health. She is also vice president of the Swiss Club for Science Journalism(SKWJ/ASJS). After studying biology and microbiology, she worked in research at the Cantonal Institute of Microbiology in Bellinzona. She gained her first experience in journalism at the Fédération Romande des Consommateurs(FRC)  where she worked as a  journalist and was the head of the department for comparative tests.

L Suzanne Suggs.jpeg

L. Suzanne Suggs is professor of social marketing at the Institute of Public Communication and the Institute of Public Health at the Università della Svizzera Italiana. She is also Vice-President of the Swiss School of Public Health+, chair of the Board of the European Social Marketing Association and guest lecturer at the Institute for Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London. She is a member of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force and participates in the expert group on science communication of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on health-related behaviour strategies for behaviour change and how communication influences behaviour.


Daniel Probst created the website corona-data.ch, which has become the most important source of information on the current case numbers of Covid-19 in Switzerland, apart from the Swiss Federal Office for Public Health. Before studying bioinformatics at the University of Bern, he completed an apprenticeship as a computer scientist and then worked for several years at Mobiliar as a systems engineer. During his studies he worked for Von Graffenried as a software developer. Today he is a Research Scientist at IBM in Zurich.