Autumn Academy 2019

“The Transparent Patient”

October 7 to 11, 2019

The Autumn Academy takes place during the three days of the “Engelberg Dialogues”, with the aim of bringing together prospective young scientists from different countries and different disciplines to discuss the topic “The transparent patient”. Their work and perspectives will be discussed during interdisciplinary workshops, aiming to develop and deliver new insights on the issue at stake.

Digitalization makes it possible to collect large amounts of data and exchange them easily. Access is possible regardless of time and place. In Switzerland, the Federal Council has voluntarily recommended the introduction of the electronic patient dossier as part of the Health Strategy 2020, with the aim to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care. These health-related data belong to the patient and, accordingly, can only be viewed with the patient’s consent.

Autumn Academy 2018

Autumn Academy 2018

Health insurance companies are generally denied access to this information

Some Swiss doctors fear that by granting free access to the data, they could be modified or “enriched” by the patient, or that important information could be omitted, and the patient dossier in itself would become less reliable and thus valuable. The electronic patient dossier was introduced in Sweden in 2012 and in Estonia in 2013, and the fears of the doctors did not come true, and the benefits in terms of improving quality, patient safety and adherence to treatment were emphasized. However, a transparent patient is also a vulnerable patient.

The protection and safety of health-related information have traditionally been considered of paramount importance, but times are changing, and younger generations in particular – but not only – are developing a tendency to be quite open in willingly sharing online health-related information, both in formal and informal contexts, e.g. in patient groups on social media or in curated academic collections of experiences, such as Moreover, in the meanwhile IT companies are almost imperceptibly coming into possession of large amounts of health-related data: Siemens, for example, networks computer tomography devices to build a pool of diagnostic data. IBM Watson is already making diagnosis from X-ray images, and an iPhone is already a diagnostic device today.

Bearing this trend in mind, the whole definition of “health-related data”, their ownership and their protection become concepts needing to be re-analysed and re-defined, considering individual attitudes, societal interests, and the agendas of the private business stakeholders.

It is often said that through digitalization and data mining enormous sums can be saved in the health sector. But what if the next health care provider will be a software?

Autumn School for young scientists

The Autumn Academy, which precedes the annual Academia Engelberg Forum, aims to bring together young scientists from different countries and different backgrounds, in order to discuss this year’s conference topic “The transparent patient” with a strongly interdisciplinary approach.

During the Autumn Academy, participants will be divided in three small thematic groups (defined on the basis of their interests, backgrounds, and papers). They will present their state of the art knowledge on the topic, discuss it, and finally condense it in a series of protocols (one for each thematic group) that will become the proceedings of the Autumn Academy.

The protocols will be evaluated by a Scientific Committee, and the best one will receive a monetary prize of 3’000 CHF, to be equally divided between the contributors. All the protocols will also be presented during the Academia Engelberg Forum.

Autumn Academy 2018

The Academia Engelberg Foundation welcomes young scientists every year

Foundation of Academia Engelberg

The Academia Engelberg Foundation recognizes the growing need of science and society for a better understanding of new and highly complex issues, how they relate to society (including politics, culture, ethics, religion, education) and industry, and their impact on increasing global inequity. The Foundation was created in 2001 and organizes annual meetings addressing specific topics in the Abbey of Engelberg.

Intergeneration Platform: a high proportion of young participants attend the conferences. We involve young scientists by providing them the opportunity to present projects and offer a platform for encounters between generations. In recent years, about 140 participants from all over the globe attended the conference. The dialogue across different backgrounds and areas of expertise proved highly profitable for Autumn Academy students and turned out useful for establishing new contacts and networking opportunities.

Prerequisites for Participation at the Autumn Academy 2019

Highly motivated and committed young scientists who completed their Bachelor degree; both PhD and Master students are encouraged to apply. The Scientific Committee of the Academia Engelberg will invite the authors of accepted proposals to submit final papers. The authors of the 20 best papers will be invited to participate in the Autumn Academy. Applicants must be interested in transdisciplinary topics and their discussion. A good command of (spoken) German is a plus, but not a conditio sine qua non. The autumn academy will take place in English.

Application material should include:

  1. A CV and a cover letter describing the applicant’s motivation and expertise;
  2. An abstract pinpointing the personal perspective on the meeting’s topic (max. 1800 characters);

The whole meeting will take place at Engelberg, Switzerland, from October 7 to 11, 2019. The detailed venue and program will be made available to successful applicants.

ECTS Recognition
Assignment of credit points in study programs are subject to the regulations of the participant’s home institution.

There is no fee for the selected participants: all the costs for accommodation, meals, local transportation and activities during the program of the Autumn Academy, including workshops and the conference, are covered by the organization. Moreover, Academia Engelberg will also cover all the travel expenses (economy class) sustained by the selected participants to reach Engelberg.

Applications can be submitted online including the above mentioned material as pdf (maximum size per file: 1 MB) at:

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is May, 20th 2019; we aim to make and communicate our decisions by June, 15th 2019. The Scientific Committee of the Autumn Academy will invite the authors of accepted proposals to submit a final paper of no more than 30’000 characters (including spaces) of pure text no later than July 15. By August 15, the authors of the 20 best papers will be invited to participate in the Autumn Academy October 8 to 11, 2019.


Donators and Partners

The ETH Board is responsible for the strategic leadership of the ETH domain and assumes the supervision of its institutions. Its close relationship with the ETH Council has contributed to the successful continuation of Academia Engelberg Foundation since 2000.

The Foundation promotes research into the connecting human fundamentals of science. Academia Engelberg Foundation and the Foundation for Basic Research in Human Sciences have entered into a cooperation agreement for the period 2011 to 2015.

Helvetia is a quality-oriented comprehensive insurance company with over 150 years of experience. Academia Engelberg Foundation is convinced it will be able to use important synergies from the partnership starting in 2015.

DIE HIRSCHMANN STIFTUNG ist eine gemeinnützige schweizerische Stiftung. 1985 wurde sie vom Unternehmer und Aviatik-Pionier Carl W. Hirschmann gegründet.

A partnership with the University of Lucerne has existed since summer 2013. Since 2016 we have also a parthership with the Faculty of Economics and Management of the University of Lucerne. Through these partnerships, synergies are used and joint projects are tested and realized. The University of Lucerne currently consists of three faculties: the faculties for Theology, Culture and Social Sciences, and Law.

The focus of the Foundation is the promotion of organizations in the areas of culture and arts, architecture, design, music, sports, education, and science. It has been a partner of Academia Engelberg Foundation since 2014.