Science Diplomacy

Science diplomacy happens across a range of scenarios. It can be interpreted as the application of scientific advice in the formulation of foreign policy, the facilitation of international collaborative research projects or the use of personal relationships between scientists to establish diplomatic relations in testing circumstances.

Science diplomacy is increasingly seen as a mechanism through which countries can co-operate on international challenges such as climate change and global health crises. It is emerging as a theme on the agendas of governments and global organisations seeking opportunities to build relations with international partners.

This POSTnote will provide an overview of science diplomacy, in particular setting out:

  • Current interpretations of science diplomacy in the context of public diplomacy and soft power theories.
  • What it aims to achieve.
  • National and international organisations practising science diplomacy.
  • Case studies of effective science diplomacy, for example the setting up of the SESAME synchrotron in Jordan or collaborative research programmes such as Horizon 2020.
  • The UK approach, including the potential role in maintaining working partnerships with EU member states.

For further information on this project or to contribute relevant research and ideas, please email Emmeline Ledgerwood or Dr. Sarah Bunn.