About us

Category: About us

The CSS chair consists of a minimum of one and a maximum of three board members. The chair is elected by the General Assembly for three years and can be re-elected for a second term. The chair operates on a voluntary basis.

051115 Dittmar
Dr. Michael Dittmar
Physicist, ETH Zurich

Michael Dittmar was born in Hamburg (1956) where he studied Physics at the Hamburg University and completed a PhD at DESY (Deutsches Elektron Synchrotron). Since 1985 he is working at CERN in Geneva and since 1993 he is a senior research scientist at the ETH Zurich. For more than 10 years, Michael Dittmar has been teaching and researching different aspects of energy and environment in the 21st century.

Related publications by Michael Dittmar:

The CSS board consists of a minimum of five and a maximum of seven members and constitutes itself. The aim is to create a balanced board with regard to gender, age, scientific expertise, and language. The board is elected by the General Assembly for a renewable period of three years. Board members operate on a voluntary basis

  • Dr. Angelika Hilbeck
    Agroecologist, Senior Scientists and Lecturer, Institute for Integrative Biology, ETH Zurich; Chairperson of the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibilities (ENSSER); Board Member of Bread For All
  • Dr. Eva Gelinsky
    IG Saatgut and semnar / saatgutpolitik & wissenschaft; Member of the Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology (ECNH); Board Member of Schweizer Allianz Gentechfrei (SAG)
  • Dr. Luigi d’Andrea
    Biologist and permaculturist, Executive Secretary of Alliance suisse pour une agriculture sans génie génétique (StopOGM); Executive Director of BIOME (Biologie appliquée et paysage)
  • Dr. Michael Dittmar
    Physicist, ETH Zurich
  • Prof. Dr. Sergio Rasmann
    Biologist, University of Neuchâtel




Critical Scientists Switzerland
Dändlikerrain 3
3014 Bern
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Christoph Burkhard
Zentralstrasse 156
8003 Zürich
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Who we are

Critical Scientists Switzerland (CSS) is a Swiss association according to article 60 et seqq. in the Swiss Civil Code that promotes independent and unbiased science and research as well as alternative research approaches and agendas in order to help our society during the unavoidable transition from our unsustainable way of life into one which moves successfully towards a sustainable way of life. CSS was founded on March 16, 2015 and is based in Neuchâtel.

Our principles

CSS believes that:

  • Scientific research has to be conducted with ethical and moral principles, for the public good and aim at providing sustainable solutions and tools for current and future social and environmental problems.
  • Public research agendas have to be transparent and independent from economic and political influence.
  • New scientific discoveries and technological developments have to be assessed for their benefit to society. Thereby public and environmental safety always have priority over private interests.

What we want to achieve

CSS aims to build a strong network of independent scientists that can collaborate and assist each other in order to provide high quality scientific information for experts and a lay audience that:

  • Promotes critical thinking and discourse.
  • Identifies remaining important knowledge gaps about our unsustainable way of life and associated dangers and about possible alternative solutions related to environmental and social sustainability.
  • Analyses the ecological, health and socioeconomic aspects of new technological developments.
  • Facilitates multifaceted reporting in the media.
  • Contributes to the development of a science which concentrates on sustainable methods and applications to repair past damages for the benefit of society and the environment.

Our aims

CSS aims to:

  • Promote long-term environmental sustainability and social equity.
  • Promote new forms of discourse, interaction and communication within the scientific community and between science and society.
  • Contribute to the termination of damage done with existing technologies.
  • Promote independent science and research to improve the quality of basic science as well as regulatory science used in the risk analysis of existing and emerging technologies and their products..
  • Promote the application of the precautionary principle where lack of knowledge and scientific uncertainties might critically or irrevocably endanger the environment, biodiversity, social integrity and/or human health.
  • Elaborate scientific, ethical and legal criteria with respect to the development and application of science and technology, by integrating transparency, accountability, social equity, public information, public participation and access to justice.
  • Support early-warning scientists and whistleblowers and promote their protection from discrimination.

How we work

To reach these goals, CSS follows an interdisciplinary approach bringing together independent scientific expertise from different fields and uses innovative means such as the arts and participatory approaches to research. Specifically CSS works by:

  • Exchanging research ideas, concepts and results within the association.
  • Analysing the current scientific landscape.
  • Providing independent expertise and information to the public.
  • Collaborating with national and international organisations.
  • Cooperating with citizens’ movements.
  • Increasing public visibility of CSS and the goals it pursues by means of Internet presence, public presentations and media work.
  • Challenging scientists, politicians, media and the industry if they produce misleading or inaccurate information.
  • Informing the public about what is known as scientific facts and where there are still major uncertainties within the scientific community.
  • Exposing major knowledge gaps and/or biased (including one-sided) scientific information.
  • Promoting a critical discourse of the current major societal challenges related to scientific advancements by organising topic-related conferences.


Welcome to english

Please find our statutes (in German) in the attached pdf form.



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