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La politique de la recherche à la FGSE

In the realm of international university politics, our faculty is arguably one of the most fascinating projects, as what could be more important, interesting and exciting than to study the complexity of the Earth and the relationship of humanity with this environment in its trans-disciplinary integrity. Given our society's growing vulnerability to natural hazards and the increasing stress on the hydrological and ecological systems in response to a rapidly warming climate as well as the hastening process of urbanization, it is clear that an integrative view of Earth and environmental sciences in all their diversity will become ever more topical and pertinent.

Our faculty embodies this very objective by joining together the natural and social sciences of the pertinent disciplines present at our university. Few other universities have so far had the vision and the courage to pursue similar ventures, amongst them such scientific heavyweights as Columbia University with its "Earth Institute" and ETH Zurich with its "Competence Center Environment and Sustainability" (CCES).

In realizing such a trans-disciplinary faculty project, one of our key objectives is to stimulate and nurture innovative research. We pursue this objective by explicitly supporting the classical Humboldtian ideal of academic freedom and excellence and by regulating the interaction and exchange between the various scientific disciplines based on a minimalist set of common values. These values are the following:

  • Excellence and integrity in research and its communication
  • Respect for diverse scientific backgrounds and ideas
  • Unselfish cooperation and free exchange of ideas
  • Accountability towards the faculty, the university and the general public
Ultimately, these seemingly universal values are indeed, implicitly or explicitly, shared by virtually all leading scientific organizations.

We are therefore convinced that respecting these values will not only assure the highest standards of academic research, but, together with our increasingly integrated teaching curricula, also foster the communication between the various and diverse disciplines represented in our faculty. The faculty intends to assure adherence to these fundamental values by its will to pursue an uncompromising strategy of academic excellence in its hiring and evaluation policy.

Klaus Holliger
vice-doyen Recherche


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