Navigation auf



feminno: Call for round 8 is now open!

einfach komplex

feminno - entrepreneurship training and career development program for female researchers

The programme addresses female researchers of all levels from life sciences, natural sciences, medicine, health, psychology, finance, law, humanities and social sciences), currently working at Swiss Universities, the ETH domain or Universities of Applied Sciences (incl. related institutions).

Application for round 8 is now open until July 31, 2024.

Learn more

Exploring Generative AI for Responsible Scientific Work


Generative AI emerges as a powerful tool - one that PhD students can harness to unlock new possibilities in their scientific work.

Unleashing the Potential: Through practical exploration guided by our expert lecturers and tutors, attendees will discover how generative AI can create texts, images, and audio - each with applications spanning diverse scientific contexts, from extracting data and data analysis to scientific illustrations and scholarly publications. As we traverse this transformative landscape, ethics and privacy become paramount. This course goes beyond mere technical proficiency; it emphasizes responsible and ethical usage of Large Language Models (LLMs) embedded in scientific workflows. The course confronts pivotal issues related to AI-based tools. Participants will learn how to handle research data and sensitive information in generative AI contexts. They will familiarize themselves with technologies that safeguard personal and copyrighted data. They will explore reproducibility and transparency for example for assembled scientific illustrations or how to handle bias in the generated outputs. Ethical considerations take center stage, ensuring that the power of AI aligns with research integrity and scientific community values.

Join us on this profound journey - one where generative AI meets ethics, and innovation meets responsibility.

Registration and detailed course description: Limited places available.

Location:  ETH Zurich, tba

Dates: 12.11.2024 - 19.11.2024 (4days)

Contact:Bojan Gujas

Systems Thinking and Design for Social Change and in Policymaking


Get to know the transformative potential of systems thinking and relevant tools and methods in policymaking. Society, scientists, and policymakers have to deal with wicked problems and complex societal needs that can be assessed and solved only if seen in a systems context. Systems thinking can inform, model and impact policymaking. This workshop will offer theoretical and practical insights into a toolbox of techniques used in system mapping and system design while being guided by different experts. Participants are asked to bring their own problems and cases to be worked on.

Lecturers: Melanie Paschke (ETHZ), Tobias Luthe (ETHZ), Laura Ferrarello (EPFL), Anaïs Sägesser ( scaling4good & innosuisse), Swen Bos, Empa

Location:  ETH Zurich

Dates: 20.01.2025 - 22.01.2025, 3 days (9:00-17:00)

Detailed cours description and registration: here

Contact: Luisa Last

PSC Newsletter

The PSC Newsletter offers information on latest research highlights, education, network events, new members, and outreach activities.

PSC Newsletter latest edition (PDF, 12 MB)

previous PSC Newsletter

subscribe to PSC Newsletter





Science Highlights

  • Bee-pollination promotes rapid divergent evolution in plants

    Dorey, T. et al., Nature Communications 15, 2703 (2024)

    This study on Brassica rapa plants demonstrates that soil type, pollination, and herbivory, along with their interactions, significantly influence divergent evolution, with the strongest divergence occurring in plants evolving in different soils with bee-pollination.
  • Biotic interactions promote local adaptation to soil in plants

    Dorey, T. et al., Nature Communications 15, 5186 (2024)

    Using Brassica rapa plants over eight generations reveals that plant traits evolved in response to biotic interactions in a soil-specific manner. Notably, local adaptation in flower number occurred only with herbivory and bee pollination, and biotic interactions significantly increased genomic variation, highlighting the role of antagonistic pleiotropy in facilitating adaptation.
  • Phylogenomics and the rise of the angiosperms

    Zuntini et al., Nature (2024)

    Angiosperms are crucial for ecosystems and human life, but understanding their evolution has been limited by studying only plastid genomes. By analyzing nuclear genes a detailed "family tree" for nearly 8,000 angiosperm genera has been created, revealing insights into their diversification and historical evolution.
  • The global distribution of plants used by humans

    Pironon et al., Science 383, 293-297 (2024)

    Finding mechanisms to preserve areas containing concentrations of utilized plants and traditional knowledge must become a priority for the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
  • Effects of climate and environmental heterogeneity on angiosperm flora

    Qian et al., Nature Communications 15, 1097 (2024)

    Investigating global relationships between phylogenetic structure and environmental variables reveals how current and past climatic conditions shape species richness and structure across regions.
  • Biotic homogenization in arable soils across Europe

    Banerjee et al., Nature Communications 15, 327 (2024)

    Arable farming significantly reduces soil fungal diversity compared to grasslands, with rare fungal taxa disproportionately impacted, highlighting the importance of sustainable farming practices to protect ecosystem services.
  • Crop traits and production under drought

    Vadez et al., Nature Reviews 5, 211–225 (2024)

    Understanding physiological traits' role in moderate drought tolerance is essential for enhancing crop productivity and adapting to climate change, necessitating integration with crop genetics and modeling for effective varietal selection.
  • Transnational conservation to anticipate future plant shifts in Europe

    Chauvier-Mendes et al., Nature Ecology & Evolution 8, 454–466 (2024)

    Adjustments to the current reserve network are vital to meet EU biodiversity goals as simulations indicate significant shifts in conservation needs by 2080 due to climate-driven changes, highlighting the importance of transnational connections for effective protection.

Weiterführende Informationen

Paschke, Melanie, with contributions by: Petterson, Alexander, Mihalka, Réka and Manuel Sudau (2024). Teaching Collection: Exercises and hands-on examples for ethical use of generative AI. Zurich Basel Plant Science Center: ETH Zurich.