ETH Zurich

Renate Schubert

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Renate Schubert is Professor for Economics at ETH Zurich. She is an economist by training, with a specialization in behavioral economics applied to environmental and energy related fields and to digitalization topics. Her expertise is in experimental field studies as well as experimental studies in the laboratory to find out, whether and which incentives, information or price changes may shape individuals’ and groups’ behavior in a way that is beneficial on the micro and macro level. Furthermore, she is an expert in societal cost-benefit analyses. Schubert’s key concern has always been to identify the choice architecture, which enables individuals and groups to make decisions that are sustainable in a broad sense and at the same time economically and politically feasible.

Renate Schubert got her Dr. rer. pol. in Tubingen and did her habilitation at the Technical University Darmstadt. Between 1990 and 1991 she was a Professor for Economics at the University of Regensburg and between 1991 and 1992 at the University of Tubingen. From 1993 to 2006 R. Schubert was head of the Center for Economic Research at ETH Zurich. In summer 2006, she founded the interdisciplinary Institute for Environmental Decisions (IED) at ETH Zurich. She was Head of the Institute until 2014. From 2008 to 2020, R. Schubert was the Gender Delegate of ETH Zurich’s President and in this function an Associate Vice President.

Since 2020, Renate Schubert has been Vice Rector of the Swiss Distance Learning University (UniDistance). She is responsible for the area of teaching, implementing innovative forms of distance learning, including flipped-classroom models and hybrid teaching, i.e. mixed forms of face-to-face teaching and virtual classrooms.

Schubert worked for the Scientific Council to the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (1992-2005). She was on the Board of the Swiss National Science Foundation (1994-2004) and was a member of Senat and Hauptausschuss at the German Science Foundation (1999-2005). From 2000 until 2013, R. Schubert was appointed to the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), which she chaired between 2004 and 2008. This council is an advisory board of the German government. From 2004 and until 2016, Schubert was member and head of the External Advisory Board of the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at Columbia University. From 2011 – 2015 Renate Schubert was a member of the Advisory Board of the Rachel Carson Center in Munich. She chaired the Supervisory Board of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) from 2012 – 2019. Since 2011, Renate Schubert has been a member of OcCC (Organe Consultatif sur les Changements Climatiques) giving advice to the Swiss Government. As of April 2015, R. Schubert was running projects on private households’ energy efficiency in Singapore. The project was part of the FRS (Future Resilient Systems) cluster within the SEC (Singapore-ETH Center). Since 2019, Schubert is focusing on the measurement and enhancement of social resilience within the FRS cluster. The analysis of social resilience in case of natural disasters as opposed to pandemic contexts is in her focus. From 2016 – 2020, R. Schubert was a Fellow at the Collegium Helveticum in Zurich, where she was investigating into the relevance of digitization for various areas, like education but also the environment. One of her key topics in this context is the question of data ownership and privacy concerns. R. Schubert has been member of various juries, evaluation committees and research networks.

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