Projects

22.07.2021

White Paper: Seven goals for clinical research

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What does publicly funded clinical research need to increase its benefit for patients and society? The SAMS White Paper Clinical Research presents a roadmap with seven goals to strengthen the impact of clinical research in Switzerland. It suggests ways on how to use resources more efficiently and how to align efforts on common priorities.

Considering the main stakeholders of clinical research, fragmentation, overlaps, and a lack of shared strategic priorities are evident. Elaborated by the SAMS on behalf of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, the White Paper outlines in an action plan for change how to address the current challenges for clinical research so as to increase its benefit for all and to make Switzerland an international leader in the field.

Download the White Paper (PDF)

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Publications

16.07.2021

Science Communication in Switzerland: Assessment Report and Recommendations

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What is the current state of science communication in Switzerland? Answers to this question are provided by an assessment report published by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. Together with a description of the actual situation, the report offers concrete recommendations on how science journalism in our country could be strengthened.

In addition to positive aspects – such as the high level of public trust in science or the wide range of formats available for science-society dialogue –, it also identifies challenges, like the insufficient support for researchers who communicate with the public, the erosion of science journalism, or the dissemination of dis- and misinformation on social media. Learn more in the report or at the online event on 19 August 2021.

Download the report (PDF)

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Academy

01.07.2021

New faces on the SAMS Executive Board

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The Executive Board is renewing itself. At its meeting on 1 July 2021, it welcomed three new members recently elected by the Senate: Professor Luca Crivelli (Ticino), Professor Nicole Probst-Hensch (Basel) and Professor George Thalmann (Bern).

The SAMS takes this opportunity to say goodbye to Professor Claudio Bassetti and Professor Urs Brügger, who have both reached the end of their 8-year term of office on the Executive Board. The SAMS could not be active in so many areas without the voluntary commitment of members such as Professor Bassetti and Professor Brügger. We thank them very much for their dedication. You can find the current composition of the Executive Board on our website.

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Ethics

21.06.2021

The medical-ethical guidelines «Decisions on cardiopulmonary resuscitation» have been revised

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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) decisions and their consequences involve considerable burdens for all concerned. The revised SAMS medical-ethical guidelines offer recommendations for medical professionals on how to proceed in various situations and provide guidance for discussing CPR with patients and relatives.

The interruption of the supply of oxygen to the brain in acute cardiac arrest requires immediate action. In the acute situation, it is particularly difficult to assess the individual prognosis, and the patient’s wishes are often not clear. To support medical professionals, the SAMS issued medical ethical guidelines in 2008. The revised version takes into account both medical and social developments, as well as the latest scientific findings. The guidelines are available online in four languages (eng/fr/ger/it), and print versions (fr/ger) can be ordered free of charge.

Medical-ethical guidelines: Decisions on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (2021) (PDF)

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Publications

18.06.2021

Health and environment co-benefits: what does the literature say?

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Anthropogenic climate change jeopardises medical progress made in recent decades and may lead to a rise in malnutrition, threaten mental health, increase the incidence of cardiovascular, pulmonary and infectious diseases, and cause premature deaths. Following the publication in 2019 of its position paper on sustainable development of the health system, the SAMS is seeking to raise awareness of the relationship between health and the environment.

The concept of «co-benefits», which was discussed by Professor Nicolas Senn (Unisanté, Lausanne) in the SAMS Bulletin 4/2020, is explored in depth in the Revue Médicale Suisse with a comprehensive, interactive literature review (f/e). The analysis was conducted by the Department of Family Medicine at Unisanté Lausanne and the Interdisciplinary Center for Sustainable Development at University of Lausanne. Although considering environmental perspectives in clinical practice may be a given for some, the authors conclude that our society needs a real paradigm shift to rethink the concepts of health, disease, and the associated health services.

Download the SAMS Bulletin 4/2020 (in french) (PDF)

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Funding

16.06.2021

KZS Fund call for proposals: Access to care under resource scarcity

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The SAMS is providing a total of CHF 250’000.– from the Käthe-Zingg-Schwichtenberg Fund (KZS Fund) for research in bio-medical ethics on the topic of «Access to medical and nursing care under resource scarcity». The submission deadline is 31 August 2021.

The 2021 call for proposals of the KZS Fund supports theoretical or empirical research projects that examine, from a clinical ethics and/or public health ethics perspective, how the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic is changing perceptions and assessments of equity and distribution debates in the event of resource scarcity. Applications can be written in German, French or English and must be registered online. Details on the call and procedure for submission can be found on the KZS Fund website.

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Projects

15.06.2021

Nine Centres for Rare Diseases recognized

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In May 2021, the National Coordination for Rare Diseases (kosek) recognized three Centres for Rare Diseases in addition to the six structures approved in 2020. These nine Centres ensure comprehensive geographical and linguistic coverage in Switzerland. As a founding member of kosek, the SAMS welcomes these developments.

The Centres for Rare Diseases are interdisciplinary contact points for patients with an unclear diagnosis who need more detailed investigations. The centres coordinate the care and expertise of the specialists involved, promote continuing education and research. They cooperate in a network to exchange information and to organise patient care in the best possible way. For more information, visit the kosek website (fr/ger/it).

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Academy

02.06.2021

The SAMS pays tribute to Peter Meier-Abt

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It is with sadness that the SAMS learned of the death of Peter Meier-Abt on 27 May 2021. A member of the Senate since 2000, Prof. Meier-Abt was President of the SAMS from 2011 to 2016 and Vice President from 2004 to 2011 and 2016 to 2018. He was the driving force behind the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN), which he chaired from its inception.

With his great commitment, Peter Meier-Abt profoundly marked the SAMS over the past 20 years. The Academy has benefited substantially from his experience in the areas of promoting young scientists, fostering clinical research, scientific integrity and personalized health. As Martin Schwab wrote in the SAMS Bulletin in 2016 on the occasion of Peter Meier-Abt’s handover of the presidency: «Moving things, not only analyzing and pointing out weaknesses, but also proposing solutions and implementing them dynamically; passionately committed – that is how we knew Peter Meier-Abt.»

The President and the members of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences join the SAMS in expressing their sincerest condolences to the bereaved family.

Read the quoted article from Bulletin 4/2016 (French or German) (PDF)