So, what is science diplomacy after all?

Science diplomacy; a new buzz-word as of late that has combined two words that one does not usually see together. You may have heard the term and figured out what it means literally, but what exactly does it entail? Science & Policy Exchange‘s Student’s and Science Diplomacy 2-day workshop bought together the world’s of science, research academia, and diplomacy. Here is a crash-course on why it matters.

We live in a globally inter-connected civilization, the earth is everyone’s common place. Decisions that are made at higher levels, affect us all. Unfortunately, there is a sense that  current policies and decisions may be based more on agenda than anything else. We need to challenge leaders and policy-makers to make informed-decisions that are sustainable and benefit the earth, including the people who live on it.

Science diplomacy is a inclusive process; it’s international, interactive, and inter-disciplinary. It uses science as a tool for informed decision-making to build on common interests that go beyond any borders. Science asks questions, collects data and presents evidence. This evidence is the basis for informed-decision making.

Science knows no borders, science diplomacy is the convergence of research and solutions from across the globe, to tackle issues that we are facing globally. The challenge? On a global level, solutions are complicated. There is often no one-size-fits-all answer. Change. We need to move away from the idea of steadfast solutions and first create open space for discussion and dialogue. Governments and organizations can then create policies that are grounded in reality, with an open-minded attitude and room to grow.

So, the next time you hear the words Science Diplomacy, remember: Inclusivity.

Blog post based off notes taken from lecture by Paul Berkman, Professor of Practice in Science Diplomacy, Tufts University

Cover Photo by Saima Ahmed (Twitter, Instagram) of slide presented by Paul Berkman



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