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A Forum to Promote Diplomacy through Science

Fellowship Focus, Spring 2012

Like many other professional fields today, science goes beyond politically defined geographical boundaries. Scientists and engineers are increasingly viewed as key players in fostering positive connections in a globalized world, and science diplomacy is an emerging area in the scope of international relations. One thing that has hindered a deeper dialogue on the intersection of science and diplomacy is a lack of literature on the subject. To help fill this void, on 9 March, the AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy launched the free, online quarterly publication, Science & Diplomacy.

The Center’s leaders are two alumni AAAS S&T Policy Fellows who served at the State Department, director Vaughan C. Turekian, 2002-2003, and deputy director Tom Wang, 2004-2005. Their collective fellowship experience has shaped the Center’s work and the Science & Diplomacy publication. “Following announcement of the publication to the AAAS S&T Policy Fellowships community, website traffic and registrations dramatically increased, building the momentum for a broader release,” said Wang.

When AAAS Chief Executive Officer Alan I. Leshner announced the publication, he emphasized that the intention is to bring the two communities of science and foreign relations together. “Although these communities often speak different languages and pursue somewhat different goals, they share a global perspective,” Leshner said. “And there is much more that we can do for each other than we’re doing now.”

The Center was founded in 2008 to build bridges between countries and to promote scientific cooperation as an essential element of foreign policy. Since then, one of its goals has been to build intellectual capacity in the area of science and diplomacy. With editorials, articles, perspectives and letters, Science & Diplomacy serves as a forum for policy discussions on the issue.

With the official launch of the publication, foci now include building an engaged audience and soliciting high quality content to support a sustainable model. Wang views Science & Diplomacy as a mutually beneficial resource for the Center and the S&T Policy Fellowship community, providing opportunities to learn about issues and contribute to the body of literature.”

The publication is just one way the Center for Science Diplomacy is advancing efforts to expand the knowledge base of research in science diplomacy. It also supports a research scholar program for doctoral level independent researchers to spend several months researching a science diplomacy topic of their choice. Applications for the program are accepted on a rolling basis. The field needs more research and broad perspectives,” says Wang. The publication also accepts perspectives, articles and letters for review on a rolling basis. Click here to learn how to contribute.

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