AAAS, TWAS Agree to Science and Diplomacy Effort

Under an agreement signed 17 November during the World Science Forum, the organizations will focus their efforts on two areas: building regional cooperation and networks among TWAS members and associated countries, and increasing the capacity of foreign ministries, research ministries, and international policy organizations to build science partnerships.

The agreement was signed by Romain Murenzi, the executive director of TWAS, and Alan I. Leshner, the chief executive officer of AAAS and the executive publisher of the journal Science. After a brief ceremony, both pledged the joint International Programme on Science and Diplomacy will seek long-term, high-impact initiatives to help build a 21st century science culture.

“Science is central to both development and diplomacy,” said Murenzi. “This initiative is designed to bring discussions about science to the forefront of international affairs in ways that will help science to serve an even more prominent role in promoting peaceful relations among nations. The first step is to help build the capacity of the scientific and diplomatic communities to communicate more effectively with each other.”

“This is a very important time for international science,” said Leshner. “Many nations are joining the world science enterprise, developing partnerships, and pursuing the benefits of scientific and technological advancement. We believe that our new collaboration with TWAS will help identify new mechanisms for increasing the role that science can play in addressing some of the great international and global challenges.”

The agreement further extends AAAS efforts, through its Center for Science Diplomacy, to support this crucial issue with developing countries. It envisions projects in three specific areas: training and building capacity for science diplomacy; organizing international and regional meetings on key science diplomacy issues; and developing a science ambassadors program.