The Swiss Science Council SSC takes a long-term perspective and follows a holistic approach with regard to the Swiss education, research, and innovation system. The SSC is independent and transparent, and guided by principles of relevance, evidence and openness.


Relevance: Science policy advice provides evidence-based solutions to fundamental issues. Every four years, the SSC identifies and addresses a set of overarching themes that are relevant to the future development of the Swiss ERI system.
With the publication of the report Social Selectivity, for example, the Council shed light on the deep-rooted problem of social inequality in the Swiss ERI system and heightened public and political awareness of this issue.

Long-term perspective: The challenges we face and the measures we take today have far-reaching consequences. The SSC always takes a long-term perspective to anticipate challenges ahead of time, and thus work towards the continual improvement of the Swiss ERI system.
The Council published in-depth reports on quantum computing and Fintech technologies to prepare decision-makers for the potentially disruptive impact these technologies might have in the decades to come.

Holistic: The Swiss ERI system is decentralised and heterogeneous. To maintain an overall picture, the SSC does not examine policies in isolation but takes a holistic approach. The SSC is for instance just as interested in academic autonomy as in Citizen Science.
Within a specific topic, like Citizen Science, the Council examines various interrelated issues like scientific literacy and science communication to provide recommendations for the public participation in science.

Evidence: The SSC bases its policy advice on scientifically sound evidence. It mandates experts from different background and disciplines to obtain the best available evidence in order to arrive at salient conclusions.
This process is rooted in collective forms of reasoning that combines analytical rigour with deliberative argumentation, which is conducted during the Council’s workshops and plenary meetings.

Independence: Science policy advice must be responsive to stakeholders’ needs, but independent from partisan interests. While the SSC values its proximity to the government and the opportunities for mutual exchange, it remains committed to its independence.
The Council defines its own working programme, publishes position papers on important debates, and remains above political influence to tackle fundamental issues within the Swiss ERI system.

Transparency: A science advisory body should be an honest knowledge broker. The SSC maintains a transparent approach in how it selects, processes, and interprets evidence.
As an extra-parliamentary commission, the Council is accountable to politics and the public, and regularly publishes its results and activities. Individual Council members do not represent the interests of their home institutions but take responsibility for their own viewpoints and recommendations.

Openness: Democratic societies promote and rely on good scientific research, practice, and discourse. The SSC supports openness and collaborative networks within and beyond Switzerland.
By cooperating on such topics as student mobility and the free movement of talent, the Council deepens its commitment to the community of democratic values it shares with its European and international partners, thereby reaching beyond polarisation and protectionism.