In February 2016, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences hosted a meeting that was convened by the Science and Technology Advisers to the Foreign Ministers from Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Although the observation was not new, during this meeting the importance of increasing the capacity and capability of Foreign Ministries to broach the ever increasing number of issues at the interface of science, technology and innovation was identified as urgent.
On 18-19 October 2016, a small group of about 30 international policy experts and practitioners will gather in Laxenburg, Austria to discuss the vital – if largely unappreciated – relationship between science and diplomacy. The meeting is being convened by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in collaboration with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the International Network of Government Science Advice (INGSA) and the Global Network of Science and Technology Advisors in Foreign Ministries.
The purpose of this high-level international dialogue on science-diplomacy is to explore opportunities for delivering on national foreign policy priorities by increasing the quality and quantity of science and technology advice into policy development and implementation process.
Principle objectives of the dialogue will include:
- Highlighting areas where science and technology are impacting the work of foreign ministries
- Sharing experiences and best practices in providing scientific advice to Ministers
- Identifying practical issues, such as how best to engage with scientific institutions
- Developing a global network of practitioners.
I will be attending the conference at IIASA and will be chairing a panel on “Mechanisms for Delivering Science Advice in Foreign Ministries”.
Sound boring and bureaucratic? It’s not.
In fact, when it comes to the relationship between science and diplomacy the prospects for human survival may hang in the balance. That said, don’t expect to read about the Laxenburg meeting in the mainstream media.