An introductory elucidation of open science

The concept of open science is not a new one. It can be traced back to Merton (1957) and then to economists (Dagupta and David, 1994), who describe the working of science as a social institution: science is based on the so-called priority-based reward system. This system gives researchers credit for the prompt and full disclosure of their discoveries (usually in academic journals, but sometimes via other outlets such as databases), accomplishing several interrelated objectives (Cockburn et al., 2011). A priority-based reward system complements academic freedom (an academic scientist has incentives to come up with their own solution to a problem that another is also dealing with – the latter being eager to learn about the solution found by the former), it encourages prompt disclosure, it secures a collective process of quality control and provides a transparent means for access by future scientists to the body of knowledge in a particular area. Open science seems therefore to be a more complex concept than open access. It describes a set of institutions and social norms that are functionally quite well suited to the goal of maximising the long-run growth of the stock of scientific knowledge. (In another paper posted on the SWR blog two years ago, I explained that it is because of the importance of open science for scientific performance that citizen science – which is not necessarily based on open science – is not as straightforward as is generally thought).Read more

Quantum technologies – the second quantum revolution in Switzerland

Quantum technologies have the potential to deeply impact our industry and society. Using unique features of the quantum world, they allow for secure communication, new and ground breaking ultra-high sensitivity sensors, and, probably, on a ten year time scale, quantum computing. The latter promises a major boost in computing power that could lead to the solution of complex simulation problems for example in chemistry, material science or logistics.Read more

Hautes écoles spécialisées

Les hautes écoles spécialisées ont connu une forte croissance depuis leur création en 1996.  Leur enracinement dans le monde professionnel est la caractéristique qui les distingue le plus des universités et qui conditionne leur rôle spécifique et leurs tâches complémentaires dans le système tertiaire suisse. Le lien avec la pratique des HES est à la fois garanti par la mission et l’organisation générale de l’institution, de même que par la structure du financement, en particulier dans le domaine de la recherche.Read more

Medical Education of future doctors

After having increased the number of medical graduates within the 2017-2020 period, a reassessment of the medical education is required for the next period. The current medical curricula tend to be overloaded because of the growing scientific knowledge and the expectations of the various stakeholders in the medical field. Thus, future medical doctors will need more and more competences. Due to big data and artificial intelligence new tools will facilitate clinical work of medical doctors. However, digital competence goes beyond IT and computational skills and education in computer science has to be included in the medical curricula.Read more