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University of Basel

18 October 2017

Antonio Loprieno Becomes New President of the Swiss Academies of Sciences

Professor Antonio Loprieno has been chosen by the delegates of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences to be their new President. An Egyptologist and a former Rector of the University of Basel, he will assume his new position on 1 May 2018.

Antonio Loprieno
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Antonio Loprieno. (Image: University of Basel)

The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences will have a new President as of 1 May 2018. Antonio Loprieno, a professor of Egyptology and a former Rector of the University of Basel, was on Wednesday elected to the office by the delegates of the Academies. In its citation, the electoral commission writes that the Academies, and thus the Swiss community of scientists as a whole, have chosen in Loprieno a highly distinguished President who is both renowned and incredibly dedicated.

“I am delighted to be able to serve the Swiss scientific community on both a national and international level, and will do so with real enthusiasm”, said the newly elected President, who in September was already elected President of the All European Academies (ALLEA) for the period 2018 to 2021. As President of the Academies, Loprieno wants to emphasise the bridging function that the Academies can have as an interface with society, and to help safeguard public trust in science at a difficult time. He is thinking of topics such as digitisation, interdisciplinarity, new forms of science communication and applied research, but also of the current “post-factual” crisis of trust in science.

A linguist, university researcher and science manager

Antonio Loprieno was born in Italy in 1955 and grew up in Brussels. He studied Egyptology, linguistics and Semitology in Turin. This “linguistically socialised Egyptologist” acquired his extensive knowledge and experience through postdocs in Chicago and Göttingen, an associate professorship in Perugia, then professorships at the University of California in Los Angeles and in Basel, where he was appointed in 2000 and where he was also made Professor for the History of Institutions in 2015. From 2006 to 2015, Loprieno also served as Rector of the University of Basel and from 2008 to 2015 was the President of the Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS).

Antonio Loprieno will assume his office as President of the Swiss Academies on 1 May 2018. He will succeed Maurice Campagna, who was able to preside over the introduction of new statutes for global budgeting in the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.

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