on January 25, 2023
Published on January 16, 2023 Updated on June 26, 2023

Science Diplomacy Seminar - Thinking, Debating, and Shaping Science Diplomacy

Science diplomacy seminar
Science diplomacy seminar

Event is organized in cooperation with the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance

Divided into three panels, the day-long event will explore the theoretical understanding of science diplomacy, discuss the geopolitical contexts in which it operates, and, with the aforementioned EU Science Diplomacy Agenda in mind, aim to strike a consensus on how science diplomacy is shaped for the future. While panel participation is expected to be reserved for Alliance members, the seminar will be streamed for wider viewing.
This event is scheduled for 25 January 2023, 10:00 – 17:00

It will be held at European Commission (DG RTD, Square Frère-Orban 8, 1000 Bruxelles) + Online. If you are wanting and able to join, please write a mail to Eric Piaget <epiaget@cris.unu.edu> and let him know how you will attend (either in person or virtually).

Information about the event concept: Thinking, Debating, and Shaping Science Diplomacy in and for Europe

A seminar organized by the UNTRAD Presidency of the European Union Science Diplomacy Alliance, in association with the European Commission, EUTOPIA, and the Norway-EU Science Diplomacy Network

Purpose of the seminar
The general idea of this seminar is to assess the present state of the art of science diplomacy in Europe from three perspectives. The first perspective, labelled Thinking Science Diplomacy,  is that of the status of science diplomacy as an academic endeavour. Questions to be tackled are: how are established scientific disciplines (international relations theory, diplomacy, science & society studies, etc.) coping with the concept and practice of science diplomacy? Is there an academic field or an epistemological community in the making? Is there a theory of science diplomacy in the making? How can science diplomacy practices be evaluated? What role should universities play?

The second perspective, Debating Science Diplomacy, deals with how science diplomacy is affected by societal challenges such as the geopolitical situation, the shifting nature of diplomacy, the place of science in preserving the global commons, and the role of missions and SDGs in research policy. Also, the question will be addressed if there is a need for science to engage in diplomacy for science that defends scientific values towards fake news and complot thinking.

The third perspective, Shaping Science Diplomacy, is that of how to shape a future for science diplomacy in Europe. Questions to be addressed here include: what is happening at the level of the European institutions? What should academia’s input be? And also: what needs to be done at the level of MFAs and diplomatic missions of the EEAS and Member States? And what about other actors, such as sub-national (regional) level and supra-national (multilateral) level?

The format of the seminar is to have an open discussion amongst EU Science Diplomacy Alliance members on the basis of an introduction by the chair of each panel and with a rapporteur that provides a first synthesis of the debates.

Participants will be members of the Alliance, EU institutions and Member State governments, and some other invited guests. The seminar will be organized under Chatham House Rules and participants will speak in a  personal capacity.

The main output will be a policy paper of Alliance that can serve as input to ongoing efforts to formulate a future agenda for science diplomacy in Europe.