STS Forum 2010 – Session G1: Science and Technology Diplomacy and International
“Science and Technology Diplomacy”, a term introduced early in the STS Forum series, is
gaining momentum around the world. “Science and Technology Diplomacy” and “International
Collaboration” are activities that are naturally coupled. Science and technology diplomacy can
be manifested by a number of means; such as, addressing global grand challenges through
international collaborations, building research and education capacity in both developed and
developing countries, extending communication networks to facilitate virtual research
experimentation and data sharing more broadly among the world’s science and technology
research communities, and informing policy makers through high-quality, interdisciplinary
research. Since science and technology contribute to solving global problems in health, security,
food production, ecological and energy sustainability, and social and economic development,
among others, it is natural that they should also inform public policy and foreign relations.
However, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed to develop greater synergies
in worldwide science and technology investments, assist “brain circulation”, and build capacity
for addressing national needs by scientists and technologists in developing nations. Examples of
such issues are:
1. What are the best means for building capacity in science and technology education and
research in developing countries and assisting scientists and engineers in these
countries to engage in international collaborations?
2. What forms of partnerships should be pursued among the G-20 nations to leverage
assistance, both financially and intellectually, to scientists and engineers in developing
nations to facilitate their active participation in international research collaborations?
3. What types of engagements in science and technology diplomacy are most appropriate
at ministerial, research council and scientist levels and how should they be aligned?
4. What are the best practices in identifying global “grand challenge” issues most
deserving of international collaboration and translating them into active collaborations?
5. What international planning and funding mechanisms are needed to rationalize
investments in major, multinational-supported facilities and what user provisions are
needed to broaden access to these facilities to all of the world’s science and technology
6. What international protocols are needed to assure and financially support open data
sharing with regard to peer review and data assessment; data base development and
management; and data archiving, storage, and retrieval?
In addition to addressing these issues, the purpose of this session would be well served if the
participants would identify other similar issues that deserve priority attention in this and future