André Aeschlimann, former president of the National Research Council, has died

14/Mar/2016

André Aeschlimann, former president of the National Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), died/passed away aged 86 at the beginning of March. During his tenure from 1988 to 1996, the SNSF introduced support measures for young researchers and started to promote targeted research.

Born in Geneva on 29 September 1929, André Aeschlimann studied biology in Basel, specialising in zoology. Subsequently, he became director of the Swiss Research Centre in the Ivory Coast before being appointed to the biology chair of the Universities of Fribourg and Neuchâtel. He enjoyed a worldwide reputation as an expert on ticks and the illnesses that they transmit.

Between 1973 and 1983, André Aeschlimann was a member of the National Research Council and in 1988 he was appointed president of the Research Council. During his eight-year tenure, he campaigned intensely in support of researchers and Swiss research as a whole, which was at risk of becoming isolated in the wake of the EEA referendum in 1992. He also laid the foundations for the SNSF's support of young researchers and targeted research - two funding areas that have remained crucial to this day.

André Aeschlimann was also president of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) and the World Federation of Parasitologists. He received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Rennes and Aix-Mairseille and was awarded the Emile Brumpt prize by the Académie nationale de médecine in Paris.

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