The forum promotes a differentiated and objective approach to new developments in genetic research. To this end, it provides scientific information on a broad spectrum of socially relevant topics and, on this basis, promotes the dialogue between research, politics and society.more

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The Forum for Genetic Research was created in 1996 by the Swiss Academy of Sciences (called SCNAT since 2004) with the aim to contribute to the public debate launched by « Gene protection initiative », which was voted on in june 1998. The Forum then received the mission to provide scientific information – as objectively and finely nuanced as possibly – and as plate-form for discussion.
Until today, the activities of the Forum have evolved in the rhythm of its five presidencies – each characterized by specific directions and priorities, determined by developments in genetic research and their implications at a scientific, social, educational, political, legal and ethical level.

The five presidencies and their priorities could be summarized as follows :

  • Martine Jotterand (January 1996 - July 1999):
    perception, implications for society and ethics, dialogue between biological sciences and humanities
  • Daniel Schümperli (August 1999 - February 2004):
    risks, safetty, legislation, proposal for a national research project
  • Sandro Rusconi (Marc 2004 - March 2009):
    patentability, synthetic biology, biofarming, natural/artificial
  • Patrick Matthias (April 2009 - December 2020):
    gene technologies in agriculture, synthetic biology, « dual use » in biological research, genome editing, personalized health
  • Alexandre Reymond (since January 2021)
20 Jahre Forum Genforschung