Science Diplomacy

The Science Diplomacy Philosophy of EUTOPIA

Science diplomacy refers to activities at the intersection of science and foreign policy. In its essence, it is the use of scientific collaborations, knowledge-sharing, and evidence-based decision-making in the realm of international relations. Science diplomacy is a growing field that aims to bridge the gap between the worlds of science and diplomacy by bringing together scientific experts, policy-makers, and diplomats to address issues of mutual interest.

While examples of science being used to achieve foreign policy objectives go back hundreds of years, the academic study of science diplomacy is less than a few decades old. In that short time, many conceptualization frameworks have arisen. The first and most common one stems from a report by the Royal Society and the AAAS, which highlights three dimensions of science diplomacy:

  - Science in diplomacy, which refers to scientific expertise guiding diplomatic activities, such as in climate negotiations.
  - Science for diplomacy, referring to the process in which scientific collaborations can pave the way for better diplomatic relations
  - Diplomacy for science, the reverse of the former, whereby diplomatic actions facilitate greater scientific collaboration.

Since the debut of this framework, there have been attempts to improve it. One argument, introduced by Van Langenhove and Burgelman of the VUB, postulates that a fourth dimension of science diplomacy is needed. This is called diplomacy in science, and it envisions an enhanced role for universities as diplomatic spokespersons for the global commons of knowledge in a world threatened by anti-scientism, geopolitical uncertainties, and siloed information.

It was with this potential in mind that drove EUTOPIA to become the only European university alliance with a dedicated commitment to science diplomacy. Together, the partner universities will develop a common understanding of science diplomacy through a series of seminars and trainings. Through these activities, EUTOPIA aims to strengthen the role of science diplomacy in addressing global challenges, promote the exchange of knowledge and expertise across borders, and foster a more collaborative and inclusive approach to science and innovation. By developing a shared vision of science diplomacy, EUTOPIA hopes to serve as a model for other European and global university alliances, and contribute to the advancement of science and diplomacy for the benefit of all.