Causality Effect Conference 26 27 Nov Bern

WHAT CAUSES WHAT IN LIFE? Explaining today's major challenges

A public conference about the riddles of cause and effect

Friday 26 and Saturday 27 November 2021 – Bern on site and online

Programme (PDF)


The COVID crisis, endocrine disrupting substances, genetically engineered organisms, climate change, etc.: all major challenges of today demand our understanding. Science does its best to oblige – yet is often criticised about its attempts. The understanding of 'causes' is at the core of scientific investigations and of public policy. It underlies all current efforts to face the big ecosystemic challenges. But upon closer inspection, it exposes widely different views of what causes what.

Eight scientists will share their views with the audience in the two-day public conference "Context, Causality and Consequences". One of the speakers is Denis Noble, author of "Dance to the tune of life: Biological relativity" and other books revolutionising our view of organisms and genomes. Much time is allotted to questions and discussion with the audience.

Fierce discussion regularly arises around different evaluations of the 'same' evidence. What underlies these different evaluations? One may ask what the biological influencers of causality are. Is it about material entities (e.g. genes), or also about interactions, relationships, and context (from subcellular to ecological)? What causes habituation and learning, and in which way do these influence the appearance of causality (in gene expression, disease and other phenomena)? What do we mean when we call something a cause: is it a 'difference-maker', a mechanism, a disposition? What other factors does it need to achieve its 'effect'?

Physics has framed and justified causality in robust and unifying 'conservation principles' (energy, momentum etc.). In biology and ecology, it is much more problematic to understand and verify supposed causal relations. Sources of disagreement and confusion – not just in science, but also in policy – are implicit paradigms and assumptions, different types of argumentation, value based choices, outright dogmas and disciplinary conventions of toxicologists, endocrinologists, epidemiologists, biologists, ecologists and lawyers.

Organised by European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility, Critical Scientists Switzerland, Mariolopoulos-Kanaginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences & Association des amis de la génération Thunberg

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Agrobiodiversity and participatory plant breeding for an agroecological transformation of agriculture?

This workshop will include several presentations about international and Swiss projects on participatory plant breeding, agroecological research, and grain legumes. Additionally, there will be a focus on the exchange between and networking of different actors within Switzerland.

When? Tuesday, 2 November 2021, 13:30-17:30

Where? Kirchgemeindehaus Steigerhubel, Steigerhubelstrasse 65, 3008 Bern

In 2021, CSS together with Getreidezüchtung Peter Kunz and semnar / saatgutpolitik & wissenschaft started a four-year interdisciplinary research project on participatory plant breeding and the cultivation of grain legumes began in Switzerland. We want to use this as an opportunity to enter an exchange with other (inter)national projects on the topics of agroecological research and plant breeding as well as to identify synergies. The event will be held in English and is aimed a professional audience. A non-professional translation into German is possible with prior registration.


Agroecology Workshop Programme



Die Société Neuchâteloise de Sciences Naturelles (SNSN), Critical Scientists Switzerland (CSS) und die Task Force on Systemic Pesticides (TSFP) der International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) laden ein zu einem öffentlichen Webinar:

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Die Initiative «Für eine Schweiz ohne synthetische Pestizide», über die am 13. Juni abgestimmt wird, wirft viele Fragen auf: Welche Auswirkungen haben Pestizide auf die öffentliche Gesundheit, die Biodiversität und das Ökosystem? Und welche Folgen hätte deren Verbot für die Landwirtschaft, die Wirtschaft und den internationalen Handel? Auf diese und weitere Fragen geben ausgewiesene Expert*innen aus Wissenschaft und Praxis Antworten. Stellen auch Sie den Expert*innen Ihre Fragen, die Sie zu diesem Thema beschäftigen. Vorab an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (bis am 21. Mai) oder direkt während der Veranstaltung.

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Video der Veranstaltung (D)

La Société Neuchâteloise de Sciences Naturelles (SNSN), Critical Scientists Switzerland (CSS) et la Task Force on Systemic Pesticides (TSFP) de l'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature (UICN) vous invitent à un webinaire public :

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L’initiative populaire "Pour une Suisse sans pesticides de synthèse" soumise au peuple le 13 juin 2021 soulève de nombreuses questions : Quelles sont les impacts des pesticides de synthèse sur la santé publique, la biodiversité et le fonctionnement des écosystèmes et quelles conséquences aurait leur interdiction sur l’agriculture, l’économie et le commerce international. Des experts renommés de la science et de la pratique répondront à ces questions et à d’autres. Les participants sont invités à poser leurs questions sur ce sujet aux experts par courriel à This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (jusqu’au 21 mai) ou durant la conférence.

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Vidéo de la conférence (F)

Critical Scientists Switzerland and kritische Jurist*innen Bern organized an online event on the issue of sustainability through trade agreements with two renowned experts. Below you can find the slides of the speakers and some links to relevant documents.


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Die Critical Scientists Switzerland und die kritische Politik laden - in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Klimastreik Schweiz, Rethinking Economics Luzern, Karl dem Grossen Zürich und der WOZ - zu einer Städtetour zum Thema Klimawandel ein.

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Der in Salzburg forschende und lehrende Geografieprofessor Christian Zeller wird vom Dienstag, 1. bis Freitag, 4. September jeweils um 18:00 in verschiedenen Städten Vorträge zur Klimakrise halten und am Samstag, 5. September einen Vertiefungsworkshop im Klimaraum in Zürich anbieten.

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