Science Diplomacy — the use of science to advance diplomatic goals

Science Diplomacy — the use of science to advance diplomatic goals 1024 683 Open and Universal Science (OPUS) Project

The International Science Council (ISC) published on World Science Day for Peace and Development an article by its President, Sir Peter Gluckman.

Science diplomacy — the use of science to advance diplomatic goals — is critical for addressing challenges to the global commons such as climate change and pandemics. Beyond the formal processes of science diplomacy, scientists and scientific organizations can play important informal diplomatic roles.

Depending on the context, individuals, institutions, scientific organizations including academies and scientific unions can all contribute to science diplomacy. Any form of scientific collaboration can have diplomatic spillovers, but in order to engage beyond capricious impacts, it is important to understand the science–diplomatic interface just as with other aspects of the science–policy interface. Universities can have a critical role in bridging the science, public policy, and diplomatic communities as well as offering research and training opportunities in science diplomacy.

Organizations such as the International Network for Governmental Science Advice (INGSA), GESDA, American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) in conjunction with The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), and an increasing number of universities provide short courses or summer schools that are aimed at early career scientists. Many diplomatic academies have extended their training beyond diplomats and promoted science diplomacy with the science community (e.g., Diplomatic Academy of Vienna). Some countries have followed the example of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Jefferson Science Fellowships and the AAAS’s Science and Technology Policy Fellowships, which allow scientists to work within foreign ministries. Such experiential engagement, perhaps through an internship, gives a greater understanding of the 2 cultures.

Science diplomacy has its own online journal for researchers (Science Diplomacy). The European Commission has supported major collaborative research efforts to develop and understand science diplomacy. Moreover, the same tools of science diplomacy need not refer only to nation-to-nation interactions, but also to cities and regions (e.g., the Barcelona SciTech DiploHub).

Read the full article and access references at:
Gluckman PD (2022) Scientists and scientific organizations need to play a greater role in science diplomacy. PLoS Biol 20(11): e3001848.

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