Programm 1 ScienceComm20 61

ScienceComm'21 - September 15th - 16th in Fribourg

The 10th edition of ScienceComm took place under the motto « Science Communication in a Period of Crisis ».

We were pleased to present a varied and exciting congress programme!

Programme overview in German or French.
Detailed programme in German or French


On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of ScienceCommm, Vice-Chancellor André Simonazzi personally opened the congress in Fribourg with a welcome address. Samia Hurst-Majno, Vice-President of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force, and Georges-Simon Ulrich, Director of the Federal Statistical Office, also inspired with exciting keynote speeches as a prelude to the respective congress days.


André Simonazzi graduated from the University of Geneva with a degree in international relations.
In November 2008, the Federal Council appointed André Simonazzi as Vice-Chancellor and Federal Council Spokesman. He is responsible for government communication and coordinates the information activities of the departments.
He is a member of the Executive Board of the Federal Chancellery and heads the three sections Communication, Communication Support and Strategic Leadership Support of the Confederation.
Since the beginning of 2015, he has also been in charge of the Presidential Service, which advises the President of the Confederation on international contacts.
During the pandemic, he coordinated the Federal Council's crisis communication.


© Manu Friedrich
Samia Hurst
is a bioethicist and physician, Vice-President of the Swiss Task Force, advisor to the Clinical Ethics Council of Geneva University Hospitals, Director of the Institute of Ethics, History and Humanities and of the Department of Community Health and Medicine at the Geneva Medical School. She is past president of the Swiss Society for Biomedical Ethics and editor of the journal Bioethica Forum. She is also Vice-President of the Executive Committee of CIOMS and a member of the Advisory Group on Ethical, Legal and Societal Implications of the Swiss Personalised Health Network, the National Ethics Committee in the Field of Human Medicine and the Senate of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences.


Prof. Dr Georges-Simon Ulrich has been Director of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office since 2013. He holds a doctorate in business administration and studied in Switzerland, the USA and Australia. He is also a professor of strategic management and research methods at the Zurich School of Economics. In the past, he has worked as an entrepreneur and in various management positions in market and opinion research, as Director of LUSTAT Statistics Lucerne and Vice Chair of the UN Statistics Commission.

The programme did not only highlight the main topics of "Crisis Communication", "Health Communication" and "Data Literacy" in its keynotes, but also addressed them in a variety of workshops, talks and other contributions.

Science café

We also cordially invited the public and the interested ScienceComm community to a public event. As part of the Café Scientifique at the University of Fribourg, we wanted to discuss with experts: What is data literacy?

Award ceremony and panel discussion

At the end of the congress, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences again awarded the Prix Média and Prix Média Newcomer. The award ceremony was rounded off with an exciting panel discussion "Suddenly on all channels: From science to crisis communication" with Prof. Dr. Monika Bütler, Thomas Häusler, and Irene Messerli. Moderation: Astrid Tomczak-Plewka


Monika Bütler is an independent economist and honorary professor at the University of St. Gallen (HSG). Until January 2021, she was Full Professor of Economics and Prorector for Continuing Education/Institutes. Her main areas of expertise are public policy/economic policy and business economics. Monika Bütler is co-founder and editor of the blog "", a forum for Swiss economic policy. She is a member of the Swiss National Covid-19 Science Taskforce as a consulting expert, and was its Vice-President until January 2021.


Thomas Häusler is Head of Science Audio at Swiss Radio and Television SRF. He is heavily involved in the coverage of the Covid pandemic. He has also long reported on climate, environment and development issues and is involved in the development of new media formats. After studying biochemistry at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, he completed his PhD at the Centre for Molecular Biology at the University of Heidelberg. He then graduated from the Berlin School of Journalism BJS. Before SRF, he headed the knowledge section of the news magazine Facts.


Irène Messerli has worked in the media and communications industry for 25 years. As co-owner of Bernet Relations, as head of communications for international projects at a media company, as a journalist, as head of communications at a university and as head of communications for a police force. She is a lecturer and speaker on media relations and crisis communication, social media (strategy and conception) and digital communication at the Swiss School of Journalism MAZ and at the HWZ Hochschule für Wirtschaft Zürich. She is the editor of studies on social media, digital communication and journalism.


© Annette Boutellier

Astrid Tomczak-Plewka is science editor at the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, editor at the research magazine "Horizonte" and freelance journalist. During her studies in German literature, history and political science at the Universities of Bern and Vienna, she already worked as a freelance (local and cultural) journalist for "Bund", "Berner Zeitung" and "Radio Förderband". After graduation, editor at the "Berner Zeitung", 2006 to 2011 science editor at the University of Bern, where she was responsible for "UniPress". Founded Textwerk Tomczak in 2011.