New frontiers in science diplomacy

12 January 2010

Science diplomacy is not new, but is has never been more important. Many of the defining challenges of the 21st century – from climate change and food security , to poverty reduction and nuclear disarmament – have scientific dimensions.

No one country will be able to solve these problems on its own. The tools, techniques and tactics of foreign policy need to adapt to a world of increasing scientific and technical complexity.

The report is based on the evidence gathered at a two-day meeting on ‘New frontiers in science diplomacy’, which was hosted by the Royal Society from 1 - 2 June 2009, in partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The report outlines the main conclusions to come out of the two-day meeting. 'Science diplomacy’ is still a fluid concept that can usefully be applied to the role of science, technology and innovation in three dimensions of policy:

  • informing foreign policy objectives with scientific advice (science in diplomacy); 
  • facilitating international science cooperation (diplomacy for science); 
  • using science cooperation to improve international relations between countries (science for diplomacy). 

Related links

View the AAAS Centre for Science Diplomacy