Symposium Mission

1) To provide career development opportunities for junior researchers (graduate students and postdoctoral researchers)

The Symposium provides many opportunities for career development of junior researchers. All presentations will be given by junior researchers invited to talk about their research. The Panel Discussion and Poster Session will also be open to participation exclusively by junior researchers. Every opportunity for junior researchers to present and receive feedback on their research promotes career development and increases the competitiveness of applicants trained in Switzerland on the job market.

2) To facilitate an interdisciplinary research environment

This Symposium will generate an environment that brings together researchers from different Institutes at the University of Zürich, ETH, the University of Basel and the University of Bern to present on their research and engage in conversation with other junior researchers, thereby offering the opportunity to discuss their research with a broader scientific community. This interdisciplinary environment will be achieved through,

A) Presentation of research by invited junior researchers to an interdisciplinary audience that includes other junior researchers from many Swiss universities, as well as members of the general public,

B) A question and answer session and a Panel Discussion that promote critical thinking, science education and interdisciplinary communication, and

C) Structured time set aside during the Morning Coffee, the Presenter Networking Lunch, and the Poster Session Apéro that gives junior researchers the opportunity to discuss their research with other researchers and engage in interdisciplinary conversation.

3) To promote a platform for diversity in academia and the sciences

By offering a speaker schedule that is diverse and gender-balanced, the proposed Symposium promotes scientific conversation that is more diverse than the faculty at the University of Zürich (Gender Equality Department Report 2017).

As a public university, UZH has an obligation to represent the people of Zürich and Switzerland more broadly. Through this Symposium, junior researchers have the opportunity to serve as role models for other researchers and the community, and to increase representation of women and people of color in academia.

By offering the opportunity for career development through invitation of junior researchers to talk about their research, this Symposium further promotes the success of diverse junior researchers in academia.

4) To offer an opportunity for science communication and education

By being free and open to the public, this Symposium generates an arena for science communication and public outreach in the community of Zürich, focused on human evolutionary studies from the perspectives of many different disciplines including biology, linguistics, behavioral ecology, paleontology, philosophy, archaeology, genomics, and evolutionary medicine.

Science communication and outreach are critical parts of academia today engaging in which is arguably an obligation of any institution of higher learning. This Symposium, as an event, promotes science education to a broad audience that spans institutes of many of the major universities in Switzerland and the general public.