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Small, neutral Switzerland was one of the driving forces in setting up the first Europe-wide space agency, the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO). Following that, Switzerland went on to become an active member of the European Space Agency (ESA). This book explains how and why Switzerland came to play such a role.
In doing so, it reveals that in the case of Switzerland, it was neither military nor scientific or industrial motives that primarily determined space policy but rather the country's foreign policy and will to participate in "non-political" European organisations. It also shows that the Swiss national system of innovation was challenged by "big technologies" such as space technology. Hence this book is an important contribution to both the history of foreign policy and of science and technology policy in Switzerland.
Stephan Zellmeyer was born in Solothurn (Switzerland) in 1977.
After high school, he studied Medieval and Modern History, Political Science and Business Economics at the Universities of Basel and Zurich. From 2003 to 2007, he was engaged in a PhD project on Swiss participation in space programmes at the University of Basel. In 2007, Stephan Zellmeyer's thesis was awarded the Henry E. Siegerist prize by the Swiss Society of the History of Medicine and Science.