ScienceComm'20 - September 17th 2020 in Solothurn

This year, mainly targeted speakers were invited.

Programme is available in German and French

We wish you good reading with the research magazine Horizons!

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+.



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 are looking forward to the contribution of Katja Rost: "And the Winner is...! About the limits of rationality in a society that trusts in the rational, but is guided by emotions, status, herd instinct and happy moments".


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.


Thomas Stocker (public event on September 16th) obtained a PhD in Natural Sciences of ETH Zürich. He held research positions at University College London, McGill University (Montreal), Columbia University (New York) and University of Hawai'i (Honolulu). Since 1993 he is Professor of Climate and Environmental Physics at the University of Bern.

His research encompasses the development of climate models of intermediate complexity, modelling past and future climate change, in particular abrupt climate change and its effects on the ocean, and the reconstruction of greenhouse gas concentrations based on ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. This has resulted in the definitive CO2 and CH4 records of the past 800,000 years, still a world record.

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.

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 guests.