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NODES Forum 2018: Voices and Stories from the Science Diaspora

, Austin, TX

The sixth Networks of Diasporas in Engineering and Science (NODES) Forum at the AAAS Annual Meeting will engage scientists and engineers, students, innovators, and government and embassy officials by sharing stories from the diaspora that highlight the successful ways that individuals and groups are engaging diasporas to make a difference for and in their local, national, and global communities.


12:30 pm Registration opens

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Tom Wang, Chief International Officer and Director, AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy

Franklin A. Carrero-Martínez (TBC), Acting Deputy S&T Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State, Department of State 


Featured Stories: Round 1

  • Romain Murenzi (confirmed), Executive Director, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) - “Diasporas and refugee scientists”
  • Frances Colon (confirmed), CEO, Jasperi Consulting, and Founder, Cenadores Puerto Rico - “Puerto Rican diaspora experience after Hurricane Maria”
  • Robin Mishra (confirmed), Minister-Counselor, Head of Section Science and Technology, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany - “The German approach to diaspora engagement

Moderated Discussion and Audience Q&A

Moderator: Bill Colglazier, Editor-in-Chief, Science & Diplomacy, and Former S&T Advisor to the Secretary of State (2011-2014)


Coffee Break


Featured Stories: Round 2

  • Marek Konarzewski (confirmed), S&T Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Poland - “Poland’s diaspora engagement and the 500 innovators initiative"
  • Dimah Mahmoud (confirmed), Programme Manager, EURAXESS North America - “JEMI: A new mentoring initiative for U.S. and European diaspora scientists”
  • Antonio Rodríguez Chapa (TBC), CEO, PrettySmartHomes - TechMex, Establishing the Austin Chapter for the Network of Mexican Talents Abroad"
  • Dalal Najib (confirmed), Senior Program Officer, National Academy of Sciences - “Mechanisms for diaspora engagement in S&T partnerships

Moderated Discussion and Audience Q&A

Discussion with speakers - Moderator: Simone Poetscher (confirmed), Deputy Director & Senior Program Manager, Office of Science and Technology Austria, Austrian Embassy

4:15pm Stories from the Audience (TBD)
4:45pm  Closing Remarks
5:00pm Informal Networking (optional) - Hilton Austin, location TBD



NODES is a partnership between the U.S. Department of State, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) that seeks to support diaspora knowledge networks.

A diaspora is a community of people settled in a new geographic location away from their ancestral homeland. NODES has sought to strengthen science diasporas through an annual convening to share best practices in the “diaspora knowledge network” that includes scientists, students, innovators and science policy experts originally from a specific country or region and now live elsewhere. Enabling knowledge transfer amongst these groups and individuals can help catalyze and empower diaspora to forge linkages that can help solve global problems, advance scientific development, and better the lives of people worldwide.