Science diplomacy in 2021
What is science diplomacy?
There are three types of science diplomacy (AAAS and Royal Society, 2010):
- Science in diplomacy is about the use of scientific advice for foreign policy decision-making. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations is an important example. Established in 1988, the IPCC brings together the latest scientific advice on climate change.
- Diplomacy for science often include large-scale research facilities, which given their cost and resource intensity can only be built through collaboration among a number of countries. The most example of diplomacy for science is the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which was established in 1954 after negotiations between 12 founding member states.
- Science for diplomacy is the promotion of a more peaceful world through scientific cooperation. CERN is also an example of science for diplomacy. A commonly cited recent example of science for diplomacy is the Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME), a research facility based in Jordan. It’s members are Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestine, and Turkey. This is very notable as the diplomatic relationships between some of the members are very strained. Iran54 and Israel, for example, have not had direct diplomatic relationships since 1979.
Why does science diplomacy matter?
Science diplomacy mirrors the importance of science for modern society from the fight against pandemics to nuclear non-proliferation and the fight against climate change. Science for diplomacy can also contribute towards more international cooperation and, ultimately, more peaceful international relations.
How is science diplomacy conducted?
Science diplomacy includes:
- Development and management of international cooperation
- Diplomatic reporting
Where is science diplomacy performed?
International organisations are the main multilateral venue for science diplomacy. The include:
FAQs on Science Diplomacy
Science and technology are both considered the foundations of modern society. These terms are often used in modern parlance. The fundamental difference between science and technology is that it can be viewed as “disinterested knowledge and research” but not necessarily aimed at solving a practical problems. Technology is commonly referred to in this way as “applied science”.
But, it’s difficult to discern such clear distinctions in practice. Technology and science are often interconnected. It is not easy to tell the difference between scientific discoveries in mathematics, and the development of computers. Science and technology have been complementing one another. This distinction has become more blurred in the last ten years.
From our blog
In our May WebDebate, we discussed science diplomacy, focusing on the question of preparing the future generation of diplomats for this emerging field. We unpacked the concept of science diplomacy and discussed its gr...
25 June 2019
The practice of diplomacy is changing. Unlike some years ago, it now involves new actors and subjects. These changes have necessarily created new ways of interactions. Governments, the private sector, academia, and th...
In our September WebDebate, we looked at space diplomacy. While space diplomacy is a hotly debated issue of geopolitical dimensions, it also reminds us of the need for multilateral efforts and pooling resources togeth...
[WebDebate #9 summary] Science diplomacy: approaches and skills for diplomats and scientists to work together effectively
The WebDebate on ‘Science diplomacy: approaches and skills for diplomats and scientists to work together effectively’ was organised by DiploFoundation within the framework of the International Forum on Diplomatic ...
11 May 20 - 11 May 20
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In this paper, John Harper and Jennifer Cassingena Harper talk about knowledge as a vital resource, and the necessity of building competencies and establishing new skills. Analysing the theories by Ernst B. Haas in When Knowledge is Power: Three Models of Change in Int... Read more...
Dietrich Kappeler analyses the new approaches for training institutions in knowledge management and diplomatic training, departing from the premise that a distinction is important between personal characteristics and qualities of the diplomat on one hand, and the knowl... Read more...
In this paper, Maltese diplomat Gaetan Naudi explains how the Maltese MFA embraced the changes introduced by the informatics era. He looks at such changes from a business management perspective, to show how ICTs were introduced to such a fairly large organisation, the ... Read more...
In his paper, Richard Falk reflects on the application of information technology on diplomacy, and discusses the challenge of converting information technology to ‘knowledge technology’, and subsequently to ‘wisdom technology’. Yet, the ‘crossroads in human e... Read more...
In his paper, J. Thomas Converse focuses on four records-related areas where the issues of knowledge management and diplomacy come together and provide the greatest challenges to archivists, diplomats, historians and technology providers: validation, trustworthiness, c... Read more...
In his paper, Robert Alston travels through time to rekindle an important highlight – as well as a personal highlight – in the history of knowledge management. His journey takes him back to the 1850s, which saw Antonio Panizzi’s efforts in creating a universal re... Read more...
In this chapter, John Pace decribes the three-phase evolution of knowledge management in the human rights program of the United Nations. The realisation that knowledge management is a necessity came during the third phase. The author also describes the complex system o... Read more...
Knowledge and Diplomacy presents papers on knowledge and knowledge management from the January 1999 Conference on Knowledge and Diplomacy in Malta. The papers in this book, examining the topic from a variety of backgrounds, academic interests and orientations, reflect ... Read more...