International Programme on Science and Diplomacy
Rarely do discussions between scientists become embedded in new diplomatic relationships between countries. Yet science, technology and innovation play a crucial role in economic growth. How can we ensure that the science and foreign policy communities, in any country, can learn from one another?
That, in a nutshell, is what the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and TWAS are seeking to achieve through their 'International Programme on Science and Diplomacy'. The two organizations wish to advance issues at the interface of science and diplomacy, and to do that globally – i.e. including developing countries. The idea is to try to use science to build relationships between people, whether their governments do or don't have good relationships, and to help foster regional coherence in scientific communities.
AAAS and TWAS signed a memorandum of agreement in this sense on 17 November 2011 at a side event at the World Science Forum in Hungary. Both organizations agreed to organize projects focusing on building regional cooperation and networks between the AAAS and TWAS members and their countries; and increasing the capacity of foreign ministries, international departments within research ministries and international policy organizations to build science partnerships.
"The overlapping, yet complementary, strengths of the two organizations provide a strong foundation for developing an effective international programme for science and diplomacy," the agreement says.
Specifically, the programme envisions activities in three areas:
Area 1: Training and building capacity for science diplomacy
Area 2: International and regional initiatives on key science diplomacy issues
- Solar radiation Management Governance Initiative (SRMGI)
- Global Research Council
- International meetings, workshops
Area 3: Science ambassadors programme (in preparation)