The clock is ticking. Whether it’s corona, climate change, or transforming the world of work, tackling societal challenges requires researchers and politicians to work together constructively. But for this to happen, we need not only politicians who know a thing or two about the sciences but also researchers who know their way around politics.
Yet in reality, most scientists are political laypeople. When they are drawn into political debates, they often put their foot in their mouth, can be either overzealous or timid, may come across as narrow-minded, or may unintentionally allow themselves to be instrumentalised. This serves neither politics nor science.
How can we tackle societal challenges if those involved in politics and the sciences constantly talk past each other?
The Franxini Project helps scientists improve both their political and scientific competencies so they can more effectively contribute to shaping changes and institutions that benefit society as a whole.
We envision a society in which stakeholders from politics and the sciences work together to effectively tackle societal challenges. Thanks to the political commitment of researchers from all disciplines, science-based ideas contribute to effective solutions that benefit society as a whole.
Our Policy Innovation Hub is where innovative methods meet highly committed people from all corners of Switzerland. In our participatory development programme, we link scientific ideas with policy measures and get them to take off.
No push-ups, but a lot of political know-how. Our Politics Boot Camp whips researchers into shape for Swiss politics. During our intensive training sessions, researchers learn the basics of the Swiss political system and find out where and how they can get involved.
Our buzzing Polity Hive is the place where people interact with institutions. At our Polity Hive events, people from politics, the sciences, and other areas of society meet to exchange ideas and create synergies. These unique events help researchers to master the balancing act between scientific research and giving political advice. And they promote a constructive dialogue between politics and science.
Who can participate?
The Franxini Project welcomes researchers from all disciplines who wish to constructively contribute their knowledge and concerns to sociopolitical debates – regardless of their background, age, or political views. We place particular emphasis on diverse perspectives and inclusive structures.
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We are a grassroots movement and rely on donations for our activities. Every franc helps to further our mission.
Sabrina Heike Kessler
Expert for science, crisis and risk communication
Spokesperson of the Swiss Young Academy
Researcher in economics and social sciences
Director Wissenschaftliche Politikstipendien
Cognitive Scientists and Neuroeconomist
Biostatistician and Computational Scientist &
Tech Entrepreneur & Co-founder of CH++
Expert in Public Law
Severin von Hünerbein
Social Innovation Expert & Facilitator
Aimée H. Zermatten
Co-director and co-founder Staatslabor
We work together with
As a grassroots think tank, Reatch has been advocating for a science-friendly culture for over six years. With the Franxini project, we strengthen this commitment and promote constructive cooperation between scientists and politicians. Thanks to our extensive network of scientists and politicians, we can speak the languages of both politics and science. This enables us to bring together stakeholders from both worlds.
The Franxini project was inspired by Stefano Franscini, a teacher, statistician, publicist, and member of Switzerland's first Federal Council. Born to Ticino farmers, Franscini came from a poor background and early on recognised the central importance of education for the common good. As a politician and scientist, he mediated between those two worlds and was convinced that political activities should be based on reliable information and factual analyses. As a Federal Councillor, Franscini played a key role in laying the foundations for Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office, establishing what is now the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), and putting into place Switzerland’s first federal administration.
The Franxini Project in the Media