On 2 December 1999 a group of scientists from the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SANW) and Gerry Melillo (chair) and Veronique Plocq-Fichelet (director) from SCOPE met in Basel. The aim of the meeting was to strengthen the interaction between the Swiss research community and SCOPE. The need for synthesis in global ecological issues going beyond mere summaries was identified as the most neglected issue where SCOPE could become instrumental.
Two kinds of synthesis papers are needed. A synthesis of current knowledge on specific key topics is of particular use for scientists. In addition, there is need for synthesis projects on entire syndromes of global change (such as biodiversity loss). Such syndrome-oriented synthesis projects could help to define mitigation and sustainability strategies. The proposal for a SCOPE Synthesis Project was submitted for discussion at the SCOPE assembly in Beijing in April 2000.