Science Diplomacy

The fact that science is without borders is what makes it so useful as a diplomacy tool. The integration of Europe's scientific community played indeed a key role in developing an integrated European community. Science diplomacy has been very valuable in creating those connections between the European countries, first after World War II and later the Cold War.

There is actually a long history of the relationship between science and diplomacy, however the term ‘science diplomacy’ is a phenomenon of the 21st century. Since then there have been numerous efforts to define it, which have produced different typologies of operations and motivations associated with science diplomacy.

Science Diplomacy could be defined as the effort to leverage science engagement and exchange in support of broader objectives beyond science discovery (Gluckman et al. 2017). In its broadest terms it is 'the use and application of science cooperation to help build bridges and enhance relationships between and amongst societies, with a particular interest in working in areas where there might not be other mechanisms for engagement at an official level (Vaughan Turekian, AAAS).
In such a context, science diplomacy corresponds to a series of practices that stand thus at the intersection of the two fields. These practices can help to address global challenges, promote understanding, and increase influence and prosperity (

Three are the phenomena of science diplomacy:

  • science for diplomacy – the use of science to advance diplomatic objectives;
  • diplomacy for science – the use of diplomatic action to further scientific and technological progress; and
  • science in diplomacy – the direct involvement of science or scientific actors in diplomatic processes.

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