Shaping science diplomacy: Perspectives of universities of science & technology

We release today a position in which our association provides key recommendations to advance European efforts in science diplomacy.
18th June 2024
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As the European Commission is finalising the European framework for science diplomacy, our association provides recommendations for ongoing and upcoming efforts to enhance the continent’s leadership through international academic cooperation.

As institutions leading in cutting-edge research and innovation, our Members are at the forefront of advanced science & technology. This area has recently been the subject of increasing political attention motivated by geopolitical developments and global challenges. In key areas such as climate change, energy security, or emerging technologies, our Members possess the necessary expertise, talent and knowledge in advanced science & technology to inform effective diplomacy and policy.

In this position, we identify three areas where specific attention is needed for ongoing and upcoming efforts related to a European framework for science diplomacy.

  • Science in diplomacy: integrate scientific and technological knowledge and expertise for evidence-based policy.
  • Science for diplomacy: safeguard science as an independent bridge-builder for global collaboration.
  • Diplomacy for science: boost international scientific cooperation.

“An EU-wide approach to science diplomacy is a key step to exploring the added value of science diplomacy beyond a soft power, recognising that science can become a diplomatic actor in its own right. As scientists, we understand global cooperation from a unique perspective. In pursuit of knowledge and understanding, of new discoveries, designs, and devices, we are open and eager to collaborate, spar, and even engage in healthy competition in the name of advancing our field. As leaders of scientists, our purpose is to create conditions for them to thrive—not just within our universities, but also in addressing global challenges and complex problems that require systemic understanding and collaboration.”

Jennifer Herek, Vice President of CESAER, Co-Chair of Task Force Openness of Science & Technology, and Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology at University of Twente.

“To tackle the challenges of maintaining peace and collectively fighting global warming, diplomats need to better understand the key role of science and promote Europe as a major place for research and innovation. With other partner countries strategically using science to advance their positions, a unified science diplomacy approach is essential for the EU. This involves strengthening a common vision between EU countries and global partners, sharing values and principles, and engage universities of science and technology in Europe in the development of training programs for scientists to better address these science diplomacy issues.”

Karine Samuel, Director of CESAER, and Professor of Management, Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble INP-UGA, Graduate schools of Engineering and Management

“Calls to harness knowledge to tackle global challenges are multiplying. They highlight the necessity to empower the global community by integrating cutting-edge science in its governance. Europe emerges as a dynamic laboratory of research and innovation and is shaping the future of science diplomacy. Our Members are focal points of research and innovation in science and technology. As drivers of vibrant research, innovation and education ecosystem, they are a powerful voice and force advancing collective knowledge.”

Sophie Ratcliff, Advisor for Higher Education, CESAER Secretariat

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