The purpose of Critical Scientists Switzerland (CSS) is to promote independent science and research that serves the public interest, strengthens long-term environmental and social sustainability and protects biodiversity and human health from the negative consequences of new technologies and resulting products.
Our current way of life, made possible through technological applications derived from past scientific findings, is unsustainable and endangers our long-term survival. A critical assessment of past and present scientific developments must be assessed for their benefits and harms to society and the environment. Currently there exists a huge knowledge gap at all levels of the society and it is the obligation of scientist to close this gap.
Research and technological development are increasingly driven by private interests. This leads to a bias in scientific research agendas with social and environmental needs being increasingly neglected in mainstream-sciences and innovation processes. The focus on profitability further causes the timeframe between a scientific discovery and its commercial use to continuously decrease. As a consequence, there is less time used for careful and thorough analysis and assessment of potential negative impacts on and dangers to human health and the environment.
CSS opposes scientific research agendas that serve exclusively private interests as well as biased or one-sided reporting of new scientific discoveries and technological developments. The problems created by human mankind cannot be solved with the same methods that created the problems in the first place. Thus, new scientific developments have to be assessed with great care and from multiple aspects, thereby always putting social and environmental safety first. In this regard, CSS pleads for a more democratic and participatory agenda-setting process and the consequent application of the precautionary principle where lack of knowledge and scientific uncertainties might critically or irreversibly endanger health, social integrity and the environment. The relationship between science, society and the environment must be restructured.
In the opinion of CSS, one of the principal objectives of scientific advancement is to contribute to the understanding of current and future social and environmental problems and challenges and help solving them with new solutions and tools. Knowledge and tools should always be available to the general public and not only their developers and owners of the intellectual property. Decisions within a true democratic society require that the general public has sufficient knowledge about the consequences of decisions to be made for future generations. Unfortunately, the rapid specialisations during the past decades even within the scientific community undermined the basic principles of our democracy. In order to change the current trends, alternative, creative and multidisciplinary education and research on all levels of the society need to be promoted.
In the opinion of CSS, the prevailing focus on economic growth is totally unsustainable and favours research agendas that yield short-term gains and ultimately contribute to the depletion and destruction of our natural resources and basis of life. CSS will thus endorse the role of critically observing and reacting to novel technologies that have to be carefully assessed for societal needs and contribute to knowledge distribution about the impossibility to continue the current economic growth model. We participate in the research towards a new and sustainable model of progress within our society.
Therefore CSS aims to provide a platform where independent scientists from all scientific fields can bring in their expertise, collaborate and exchange ideas with other independent scientists in order to provide high quality scientific information for experts and a lay audience that focuses on ecological, health and socioeconomic aspects, aims to fill important knowledge gaps and promotes a critical discourse about new technologies, their consequences and regulation, not only within the scientific community but, also involving the public.