The Forum for Genetic Research works on current developments in the field of genetic research and its many applications that are relevant to society, in order to promote dialogue between science, decision makers, and society at large. The questions of politicians and citizens concerning diverse applications of genetic research are addressed in a fact-based and scientific way. The Forum engages in current political and social processes, and identifies topics of future relevance. The current state of knowledge is made widely available by providing expertise and by summarizing and disseminating scientific results in reports and at events. Our focus is to enable a factual discussion on the benefits and risks of applications of genetic research, and genetic engineering in particular. Besides the scientific background, the ethical, social and legal aspects are also taken into account.
The Forum has an interdisciplinary project approach, addressing subjects of interest from a broad perspective. This is reflected in its interdisciplinary composition, which includes members with expertise in molecular biology, genetics, plant biology, ecology, biosecurity, sociology, ethics and law. The fellow academies working in fields relevant to the Forum's topics of interest are involved. If needed, external experts from within the academies or their networks are invited to collaborate. Forum members discuss and decide on topics and activities to be pursued, and form Working Groups to elaborate the contents of the possible outputs. They provide their expertise in the form of position statements and in discussions with decision makers and society. The secretary and an independent scientific collaborator assist with project management and help elaborating the form and content of productions.
The Forum for Genetic Research was founded in 1996 in the wake of the public vote on the “Gene Protection Initiative” (Genschutzinitiative). As a platform for discussion and knowledge base of the SCNAT (former SANW), it aimed to bring nuance into an already very polarized debate. As an overall objective it was set that the Forum should promote a broad and impartial dialogue on gene technologies by providing fact-based information.
The Forum for Genetic Research currently counts 20 members from diverse fields of expertise, supported by the secretary.
The Forum for Genetic Research is a member of the “Science and Policy Platform” (SAP) of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT).
Forum for Genetic Research
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