2022 News

Here you will find content related to digital transformation: new publications and projects, vacancies, grant and funding announcements and much more.

  • Open Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow in AI/ML for Musculoskeletal Imaging Data

    The Health Data Repository (HDR) Digital Platform project is a collaborative effort of the Balgrist University Hospital and the Digital Society Initiative (DSI) focusing on the creation and maintenance of high-quality musculoskeletal (MSK) imaging datasets and respective data-driven models. The HDR is looking for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in AI/ML for Musculoskeletal Imaging Data (80-100%).

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  • DSI Insights: Thinking digitalization and sustainability together

    From "smart" cities to smart light bulbs to online repair platforms. The world is increasingly full of examples where digitalization processes also have material consequences.

    DSI postdoc Mario Angst reports in Inside IT on the connections between digitalization and sustainability, and provides food for thought on how the two processes can be thought together.

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  • DSI website in a new look

    We are pleased to present you our website in a new look and hope you enjoy exploring it.

    Hint: Re-save the links to your favorite content - they have changed due to the soft relaunch.

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  • Calls: TA-Swiss & ZB

    TA-SWISS is inviting tenders for a study on the topic of «Digital currency». The interdisciplinary study will assess the opportunities and risks of new virtual forms of money that could soon be upon us.


    With Willy Bretscher Fellowships, the Zentralbibliothek Zürich (ZB) supports researchers who pursue a digital humanities approach in their project, set a temporal focus on the 20th century, and draw on holdings or data from the the Zentralbibliothek Zürich.

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  • New Publication: The regulatory gap in digital health and bridging it via alternative pathways

    A debate on regulating digital health and artificial intelligence in medicine has recently been picking up steam. In this new original research article just published, DSI researcher Jeffrey David Iqbal and DSI member Nicola Biller-Adorno describe key differences between both digital health products and classical medical devices & drugs as well as digital health actors and established healthcare actors.

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  • New Publication: Evidence-based guiding principles to build public trust in personal data use in health systems

    Public trust in health systems is pivotal for their effective and efficient functioning and low levels of public trust pose a risk not only to health system legitimacy but can also harm population health.

    In their new paper, DSI Postdoc Felix Gille and colleagues present guiding principles designed to rebuild public trust, if lost, and to maintain high levels of public trust in personal data use within the health system, if not.

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  • Certificate Ceremony DSI PhD Excellence Program

    On June 27, 2022, the first certificate ceremony of the DSI PhD Excellence Program took place. After a festive ceremony with laudations by the two DSI directors Abraham Bernstein and Florent Thouvenin, the party was celebrated with barbecue, wine, beer and music.

    Congratulations to the PhD students on completing the program!

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  • DSI-Insights: Cyber defence – defined processes instead of hack backs

    Switzerland urgently needs a debate on what attack scenarios we can expect and what collateral damage we are willing to accept. This need for a debate around the topic of cyber security and cyber defence is described by DSI Managing Director Markus Christen in the DSI Insights column on Inside IT.

    Among other things, Markus Christen describes how the military perspective on cyber defence obscures the problem and that the threat situation in cyberspace cannot be adequately grasped. In addition, the legal basis for state intervention is still unclear and there is a lack of know-how for hack backs in Switzerland.

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  • Summer Holidays DSI Managing Office

    The DSI managing office will be closed from July 25 (Monday) to August 5 (Friday). For this reason, we will not be able to answer any enquiries and will get back to you as soon as we are back.

    Thank you for your understanding and we wish you a wonderful summer!

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  • Successful interdisciplinary workshop of the DSI Community Mobility

    The interdisciplinary workshop organized by Hoda Allahbakhshi and Liudmila Zavolokina from the DSI Community Mobility on July 1 in Maienfeld was a great success. 13 attendees from 2 universities (UZH and ZHAW) participated in the workshop. During the workshop, the researchers presented five different research ideas, and four were selected for the poster session. The research ideas covered topics like mobility ecosystems, city accessibility, and sustainable transportation. As a result of the workshop, the participants could develop their research ideas in small teams working on «research design canvases».

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  • DIZH: Innovation through exchange and networking

    The Digitalization Initiative of the Zurich Higher Education Institutions (DIZH) intensifies the exchange with practice and the public. To this end, DIZH is funding four innovation structures with a total of 16 million Swiss francs for the areas of Autonomous Systems, Clinical Innovation, Cybersecurity and Digital Health.

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  • Call for Applications: Ph.D. Fellowships in Digital Visual Studies

    The Max Planck Society (MPG) and the University of Zurich (UZH) invite applications for interdisciplinary predoctoral fellowships in the field of Digital Visual Studies (DVS) for a duration of 1+2 years. The fellows will carry out cutting-edge multidisciplinary research at the intersection of Art and Architectural History and Computer Science in a program specifically designed to tackle the current gap in the use, analysis, and interpretation of digital visual resources. They will profit from access to large, rich, and open datasets provided by several partner institutions in Art History.

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  • PhD Position in Experimental Psychopathology and Digital Mental Health

    The Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Zurich is looking for a motivated and independent PhD candidate to join an active team of clinical scientists led by Prof. Birgit Kleim and PD Dr. Sebastian Olbrich. The candidate will work in a large-scale SNF- funded interdisciplinary consortium on suicidality who will tackle pressing calls for precise prediction and effective treatment strategies for suicidal individuals. The project will predict suicidal ideation considering key linguistic, psychological, clinical and neurobiological features and develop smartphone-based intervention modules based on previous data and patient feedback.

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  • DSI Bridge Postdoc Call

    We are looking for researchers (PhD's) who are at the beginning of their academic career and are conducting interdisciplinary research on topics that are closely related to digitalisation and its impact on society. Possible research fields include digital health, digital ethics, religion and digitalisation, digital humanities, legal tech, etc.

    A fellowship awaits, with a total budget of CHF 770,000, as a DSI Bridge Postdoc at the University of Zurich.

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  • The DIZH funds four projects to deal with emergencies as a result of the war against Ukraine

    From gaming to governance: four projects have been approved in the innovation program of the Digitalization Initiative of the Zurich Higher Education Institutions (DIZH). In close cooperation with practitioners, digital solutions can contribute to dealing with emergencies as a result of the war against Ukraine.

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  • What are the benefits of the “Digital Trust Label”?

    Together with the DSI Community Ethics, the Data Ethics expert group has organized a public event on the new “Digital Trust Label” of the Swiss Digital Initiative. About 20 persons have discussed advantages and challenges of this new label.

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  • Cybersecurity Poster Session at the DSI

    In a special event of the Cybersecurity Community, 20 computer science students have presented their final assignment at the DSI in a poster session. Posters reflecting on various ethical, legal and social issues of cybersecurity have been presented.

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  • Open PhD Positions at the Dynamic and Distributed Information Systems Group

    The Dynamic and Distributed Information Systems Group is happy to announce the following new PhD positions: Democracy and MediaGraph.

    The DDIS is looking for motivated applicants who are interested in investigating large-scale participation in democratic processes for a new SNSF interdisciplinary project that will address the topics of democratic issue identification, deliberation, and democratic proposal co-creation.

    For the "MediaGraph" project the DDIS is seeking a motivated PhD student to help devlop the project which aims to extend the concept of a knowledge graph with all types of information which are currently representable as multimedia to be able to capture the richness of human knowledge.

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  • EWAF’22 @Digital Society Initiative

    On June 8 and 9, 48 researchers met for the first European Workshop on Algorithmic Fairness (EWAF'22) at the premises of the Digital Society Initiative. This research field revolves around the question of how fairness can be understood and evaluated in the age of algorithms. As such research often focuses on the US, the workshop was an attempt to bring the European research community together and discuss issues that are more relevant in the European context. Many researchers came to discuss their current work and connect with researchers working on similar topics. The topics discussed ranged from philosophical accounts of fairness to concrete cases of (un)fairness, such as in Italian car insurances.

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  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Medicine

    On June 3rd, the first workshop of the DSI Strategy Lab 2022 took place at the premises of the Digital Society Initiative (DSI). At the DSI Strategy Lab, conceptual analyses and strategic scenarios for future developments of the digital transformation are elaborated.

    This year, the DSI Strategy Lab will address the question: "Artificial intelligence in medicine - where do we want to go?" 20 scientists from five UZH faculties and three university hospitals will focus on the area of conflict between AI algorithms and decision-making in future health applications.

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  • Open Positions at the DSI

    Multiple research assistant positions are open in various DSI projects ranging from the implementation of sustainable development goals to the societal acceptance of drones to the orchestration of stakeholders in crisis situations through digital platforms.

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  • Open PhD Positions "Supporting Developers’ Workflows and Flow at Work"

    The Human Aspects of Software Engineering Lab (HASEL) at the Institute of Computer Science at UZH invites applications for two fully funded PhD student positions. For your PhD, you will work in the HASEL group on high-impact research at the intersection of empirical software engineering and human computer interaction. The fully funded PhD student positions are in the area of supporting developers’ workflows and flow at work.

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  • DSI-Insights: From "Good" to "Ethical" Drones

    What is needed to turn "good" drones used for humanitarian purposes into "ethical" drones? And how can ethical values be integrated in the use and development of new technologies?

    DSI Postdoc Ning Wang reports in Inside IT on the role of the DSI in helping humanitarian organizations integrate ethical values into innovation practices.

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  • New Paper: About the Essence of Trust

    In the paper "About the Essence of Trust: Tell the Truth and Let Me Choose – I Might Trust You" DSI Postdoc Felix Gille writes about the problem and the essence of trust in health care. Felix Gille explains that the diverse use of trust leads to confusion and argues that the conceptual framework of trust is comprised of communication, truthful information, autonomy, alternatives, and no guarantee.

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  • Digital Fellowship Program (2021-2022)

    The Pollinate Group Digital Fellowship Program brings fieldwork to the desktop and is designed for students and recent graduates from around the world to gain experience in Pollinate's social enterprise. Participants will complete modules that introduce them to societal challenges and the solutions available to alleviate them.

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  • New paper: "Can Artificial Intelligence make art?"

    DSI member Markus Kneer and colleagues explored in two experiments whether people are willing to consider paintings made by AI-driven robots as art, and robots as artists. They found that people judge robot paintings and human paintings as art to roughly the same extent. However, people are much less willing to consider robots as artists than humans, which is partially explained by the fact that they are less disposed to attribute artistic intentions to robots.

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  • Video Podcast: Should robots rescue people?

    Should robots rescue people? A video podcast of the DSI and the Swiss Drone and Robotics Centre (SDRC DDPS) of armasuisse Science and Technology addresses the question of why the Swiss Armed Forces could one day also deploy rescue robots and explains the technical, ethical and legal issues involved.

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  • Open PhD position in the project «Digital Risk Awareness» (100%)

    The Center for Process Management & Information Security at the Institute of Business Information Technology at ZHAW in Winterthur offers a PhD position in the project "Digital Risk Awareness". In an interesting interdisciplinary research environment between psychology, sociology, and computer science, the PhD candidate will develop and test methods to raise individuals' awareness of digital risks (e.g., privacy, artificial intelligence). The research is done in cooperation with the Digital Society Initiative.

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  • New project: Societal acceptance of drones in urban Switzerland

    Ever wondered about the societal acceptance of drones used in urban Switzerland? The DSI is launching a new research project on the topic of “Societal Acceptance of Drones in Urban Switzerland (SADUS)”, led by DSI researcher Dr. Ning Wang and in collaboration with partners across academia, industry, and public administration. The project is funded by the UZH Strategic Partnership Program, the UZH Digital Society Initiative, and the UZH Alumni Fund.

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  • Digital Innovation Grants

    The Digital Innovation Grants are an early-stage funding support for digital innovations. The purpose of the Grants is to bring ideas with strong innovation potential off the ground and make such projects fit for further funding and implementation. The Digital Innovation Grants are open to students, researchers and staff at UZH with innovative ideas and a strong motivation to make an impact.

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  • Special Call Ukraine in the DSI PhD Excellence Program

    The DSI is launching a special call offering three scholarships for young researchers from Ukrainian universities who are no longer able to work or research at their home faculty due to the war. We invite Ukrainian PhD candidates working on issues relating to the digital transformation of society to apply for this special call by May 31, 2022.

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  • IfI Summer School 2022

    The IfI Summer School is a week-long event for PhD students and research assistants in informatics and related fields, where invited experts teach a number of different topics in one or two day-long courses. The IfI Summer School 2022 will take place between 27 June - 1 July 2022 at the Department of Informatics of the University of Zurich (UZH).

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  • Ethical, Legal and Social Issues of Big Data

    The social acceptance of Big Data solutions depends crucially on the correct handling of ELSI issues - ELSI stands for "ethical, legal & social issues". Find out more in the newly published white paper "Ethical, Legal and Social Issues of Big Data - a Comprehensive Overview": here.

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  • The future of humanitarian work in light of digitalisation

    Digitalisation is forcing the ICRC and other humanitarian organisations to rethink the way they work. Philippe Marc Stoll explained how the humanitarian work of aid organisations will change in the future in his lecture at the DSI Lecture Series "The Future of Work".

    Cristina Teleki summarised the lecture in the DSI Insights column on Inside IT.

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  • CALLS, CALLS, CALLS!

    Today we have four open calls:, DSI Infrastructure & Lab Call, DIZH Rapid Action Call "Ukraine", DSI Democracy "Call for Papers" and Prototype Fund. You can find the links for applications and deadlines below.

    Good luck!

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  • Research Associate: Curriculum Development in Teaching Algorithmic Fairness (8-12 months; 40-60%)

    The University of Zurich in collaboration with the Zurich University of Applied Sciences are offering a research associate position on the topic of Algorithmic Fairness with a particular focus on curriculum development. The research associate will contribute to the project “Socially acceptable AI and fairness trade-offs in predictive analytics in recruitment and education/training”, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation within the National Research Program 77 “Digital Transformation”.

    The main responsibility is to develop a teaching curriculum for a new course in Algorithmic Fairness, targeted to students of Computer Science or to Data Science practitioners.

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  • DSI Postdoc Liudmila Zavolokina in UZH Magazin

    DSI postdoc Liudmila Zavolokina describes misconceptions about trust – and mistrust – in blockchains in the latest UZH Magazine.

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  • Prototype Fund: experimental spaces for Innovations that serve the public good

    Do you have an idea how to solve a societal problem in Switzerland with technology? The Prototype Fund supports you with up to 100,000.-, coaching and our network to develop your public interest tech project from concept to prototype.

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  • DSI Insights: Are the golden years of the gig economy over?

    Ten years after its emergence, the gig economy, i.e. the procurement of short-term work assignments - so-called gigs - via digital platforms, is at a crossroads. As part of the DSI lecture series "The Future of Work", Niels van Doorn from the University of Amsterdam analysed the past and future of the gig economy. Karin Schwiter from the DSI Community Work summarises his arguments in the DSI Insights column.

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  • Online Science Fair – Digital Humanities

    The University of Zürich (UZH), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI) and Freie Universität Berlin (FUB) are jointly launching an online science fair on Digital Humanities. The aim of the fair is to identify researchers from both the Humanities and the “Hard” Sciences who are interested in the application of digital/computational approaches in the Humanities and to offer them an exploratory platform to connect, discuss, and to form potential inter-university collaborations.

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  • Event series "Künstliche Intelligenz & Menschenrechte"

    The creation of artificial life is an old dream of mankind. With the development of artificial intelligence, it is becoming close to being possible. What does this mean for Homo Sapiens? The Centre for Human Rights Studies of the UZH will examine topical issues on this subject from a human rights perspective in three events.

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  • Program and Cluster Manager Digital Innovation (70-100%)

    The UZH Innovation Hub is currently establishing four innovation clusters to promote strategic thematic areas with particularly high innovation potential at the University of Zurich. In the "Digital Innovation" cluster, innovation activities are driven forward on various topics of digital transformation, such as Digital Mobility, Future of Work, Digital Health and Digital Economy. The aim is to promote promising ideas with impact and to support students and researchers on their way, among other things through project funding and the transfer of entrepreneurial know-how.

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  • Digital Entrepreneur Fellowships

    Do you know someone in your network who might be interested in a 12 months Digital Entrepreneur Fellowship?
    The goal of the Fellowships is to lay the basis for university spin-offs and to support motivated researchers to gain the skills and experience needed to become confident digital entrepreneurs.

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  • Ideas Lab #KunstKulturAlgorithmus

    Between utopia and dystopia: digitalisation offers unimagined possibilities, promises a more comfortable life, facilitates networking and the dissemination of ideas. At the same time, uncontrollable data traces, hate speech, fake news and manipulation by algorithms cause concern. How can creative and cultural approaches help to highlight the opportunities and challenges of digitalisation? The ideas lab #KunstKulturAlgorithmus of the Stiftung Mercator Schweiz enables the development of surprising, courageous and explorative projects.

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  • DSI Managing Office: Who is the right contact person for which purpose?

    The UZH Digital Society Initiative is constantly growing and growing. We are pleased to announce that nine communities and over 750 people are now part of our network. In order to keep it clear for everyone involved who at the DSI managing office can support with which issues; following are the competencies of our team in a nutshell:

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  • Innovation Sandbox for Artificial Intelligence

    The Canton of Zurich is launching a test environment for artificial intelligence (AI) projects under the name Innovation Sandbox together with various partners (including the ITSL).

    In the Innovation Sandbox, selected AI projects from organisations and companies are implemented in a controlled framework together with the cantonal administration. Participants receive support in regulatory issues and access to public data sources.

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  • DSI Community Health Survey Report: "How to Approach Unstructured Data"

    The DSI Community Health conducted a survey among UZH researchers to learn about the use of unstructured data. The survey was met with a good response and provided interesting insights into the obstacles and facilitators for working with unstructured digital data from a researcher’s perspective.

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  • Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Management Information Systems (MIS)

    Applications are invited for a 5 year fixed term contract post of a Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Management Information Systems (MIS) within University College Dublin (UCD) School of Business. Applications are particularly encouraged from applicants with a strong interest in teaching and research in the area of Business Analytics.

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  • 14th "Aarauer Demokratietage": Democracy in the Pandemic

    The Corona pandemic has now had a strong impact on everyone's everyday life and government action for two years. The 14th "Aarauer Demokratietage" on the theme of "Democracy in the Pandemic" offer a platform for looking back and looking forward to future democratic challenges in times of crisis.

    The "Demokratietage" are organised by the Centre for Democracy Aarau (ZDA) and will take place on 24 March, 31 March, 6 April and 7 April. DSI Network members Marc Eisenegger, Sarah Geber and Andreas Glaser as well as other experts will participate in the panel discussions.

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  • New Publication: Public Trust and Trustworthiness in Biobanking: The Need for More Reflexivity

    DSI Postdoc Felix Gille and colleagues published a new paper on public trust in biobanking: "Public Trust and Trustworthiness in Biobanking: The Need for More Reflexivity".

    The authors discuss the need for improving public trust in biobanks and prioritizing institutional trustworthiness.

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  • Nikola Biller-Andorno new member of the EU Ethics Group

    UZH Ethics Professor and DSI Network member Nikola Biller-Andorno joined the EU Ethics Group at the beginning of the year. This group advises the European Commission on how new technologies and scientific knowledge can be used in accordance with European values.

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  • Digital Humanism Fellowship Program at the IWM

    In 2022, the «Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen» will launch a new fellowship program on Digital Humanism, funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology.
    This recently established research field defines an approach that describes, analyzes, and influences the complex interplay of technology and humankind and aims for a better society and life in the digitized era.

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  • Kick-off Event of the DSI Community Sustainability

    Energy use of blockchain technologies, AI-informed policy recommendation, changes in corporate sustainability reporting and much more: Researchers at UZH are working in many practical applications where processes of digitalization and sustainability interact. They also ask them self more general questions on the sometimes ambivalent interplay between these encompassing societal transformations. The (virtual) kick-off event of the DSI community Sustainability made that clear

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  • New publication by Ning Wang et al.: Supporting Value Sensitivity in the Humanitarian Use of Drones through An Ethics Assessment Framework

    Ning Wang, Markus Christen, Matthew Hunt, and Nikola Biller-Andorno published Supporting Value Sensitivity in the Humanitarian Use of Drones through An Ethics Assessment Framework at the International Review of the Red Cross by Cambridge University Press.

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  • Exhibition: Planet Digital

    Self-learning algorithms, rare earths, and robots bestowing blessings: In the exhibition Planet Digital, mounted by the University of Zurich and the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, innovative research teams meet up with creative minds from the fields of design and art. In around 25 installations, they invite visitors to experience the science of digitalization with all their senses.

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  • The DIZH Innovation program supports nine projects to overcome the last mile

    Researchers in the Canton of Zurich are responding to immediate challenges with measures that can be implemented quickly. With the Call for Rapid Action proposals, the DIZH supports the realisation of innovative solutions. These are based on interdisciplinary cooperation between the UZH, ZHAW, ZHdK and PHZH, with the involvement of practice partners. A jury consisting of 12 specialists from the participating universities selected nine projects from 33 applications, which will be funded with a total of CHF 1.2 million - half from the DIZH special credit and half from the participating universities' own contributions. The projects introduce new tools in education, health care and the world of work, respond to challenges posed by the Covid 19 pandemic or offer decision-making support for ethical problems and climate change risk analysis. What the projects have in common is their high level of practical relevance. Since already tested prototypes are available or the projects build on completed research findings, the Call for Rapid Action proposals specifically supports these projects in overcoming the last mile. This means that the projects can be implemented within one year. 

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  • Conference: It's About People – Embracing Digital Transformation, for a Sustainable and Ethical Future

    The Alma Mater Europaea institution (Maribor, Slovenia) invites Established Researchers, Scholars, and Scientists to join as panel speakers at the upcoming scientific conference It's About People – Embracing Digital Transformation, for a Sustainable and Ethical Future.

    The conference is scheduled between March 11–18, 2022  and will be organized online via Zoom. The panel will take place on March 17 (morning and afternoon sessions). It includes but is not limited to scholars, researchers, and scientists who work in the cross-section of Humanities and Computer and Data Science and Ethical AI or any scholars from the broad field of Digital Society.

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  • Culture and digitalization: Call for proposals for a technology impact assessment study

    TA-SWISS has invited proposals for an interdisciplinary study that will assess the opportunities and risks of the impact of digitalization on culture and on our societal development. The study will attempt to answer technical, legal, social, political, economic, ecological and ethical questions.

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  • "Weissbuch Corona" – Lessons on the Pandemic

    In the interdisciplinary collection "Weissbuch Corona", observations, analyses and evaluations on the impact of the Corona crisis in Switzerland were compiled by around forty experts. DSI Directors Abraham Bernstein and Florent Thouvenin also contributed and wrote about the "information crisis" that accompanied the Corona crisis.

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