DiploNews – Issue 13 – 19 November 1999
DiploKnowledge: Second International Conference on Knowledge and Diplomacy
The main purpose of our first conference on knowledge and diplomacy was to map the primary areas of research in this field. Based on the success of our first conference and follow-up research, our next steps involve deeper exploration of several specific areas. The main focus of the Second International Conference on Knowledge and Diplomacy will be language and diplomacy. We will also address other specific questions such as preserving institutional memory, knowledge and international organisations, and computer systems for knowledge management. Please see the conference website for more information.
Information gathering – limitations of the Internet
An Econmist article (13 November 1999, p. 51) describes the latest example of how the Internet can be misleading. In preparing his speech to the parliament about the controversial issue of anti-AIDS drugs, the South African President asked his assistants use the Internet in order to gather information using the most up-to-date knowledge base. It seems that they relied on "snippets of negative information rather than peer-evaluated data of genuine scientific value", leading to a speech with quite a few factual mistakes such as the information that there are a few lawsuits against companies producing anti-AIDS drugs. The Economist asks: "Is Mr. Mbeki's espousal of the web a little too enthusiastic?"
Baldi's website on cyber-diplomacy
On Stefano Baldi's website you can find a good selection of books on diplomacy.