Sponsored by The Hurford Foundation, the Hurford Science Diplomacy Initiative aims to help early career scientists understand the global context for their work and thus enable them to work more effectively at international levels.
Science Diplomacy: The Context for Thinking Globally about the Biological and Medical Fields
The shorthand term Science Diplomacy (SD) spans wide-ranging activities connecting science and technology with international affairs. With particular attention to global health and medicine, the six-week course of seminars samples the current landscape of SD issues, programs, and organizations. The goals of the course are to help early career biomedical scientists: (a) think more systematically about the global potential of their work, including ethical, political, and economic implications; and (b) become acquainted with the people, networks, and resources available for scientific cooperation, including those nations with whom cooperation may be especially difficult.
Science Diplomacy spans both how science and technology can advance the goals of diplomacy and how international diplomacy can advance scientific progress. Science and technology are central for many national and international negotiations and policies, and SD activities include international collaboration to mitigate transnational threats such as infectious diseases or biological weapons. For example, scientists have played important roles in recent efforts to combat the spread of the Zika virus. Open channels of communication among working scientists and physicians, and among science advisers to governments, especially across the borders of nations in conflict, offer valuable means for informal diplomacy, as has been the case of the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The Internet and other technological innovations have sharply increased capacity and appetite for global scientific collaborations, often based on open access and transparency, and these in turn, like Wikileaks, affect the practice of both diplomacy and science. SD can matter for how we address issues as wide ranging as the weaponization of genetic editing (CRISPR technology), security of cyber spaces, and equitable diffusion of personalized medicine.
Challenges for SD include: developing a classification of activities and a common language about practices, especially those that work best; identifying tangible initiatives to address changing needs and goals; and convincing governmental agencies that SD should be an explicit part of their long-term roadmaps for action and funding. The increasing interest in SD makes this an opportune time for scientists early in their careers to learn and evaluate its possibilities.
A special theme for 2017 is the international migration of people, often spurred by technologies for transport and communication that achieve higher levels of connectedness, and the consequences of migrations.
About ten of the most engaged course participants (limited to those with RU affiliation) will be invited to join a field trip 30-31 March to Washington, DC to meet with prominent SD practitioners and tour relevant institutions.
About ten of the most engaged students will be invited to join a field trip 24-25 March to Washington, DC to meet with prominent SD practitioners and tour relevant institutions.
This course is a sequel to the ones previously offered, and participants from prior years are welcome to attend again. Several sessions will use clickers, or classroom response systems, to collect and analyze views of the course participants.
The course is part of the University’s Hurford Initiative on Science & Diplomacy, sponsored by the Hurford Foundation. The Initiative aims to help early career scientists understand the global context for their work and thus enable them to work more effectively at international levels.
Guest Speaker: William Perry, Former Secretary of Defense
Session Leader: Rod Nichols
Why It’s Safe to Scrap America’s ICBMs
My Journey at the Nuclear Brink, by William J. Perry
New Frontiers in Science Diplomacy: Navigating the Changing Balance of Power. A Royal Society Policy Document 2010, ISBN: 978-0-85403-811-4
Websites to Browse:
Guest Speaker: Melody Brown Burkins, Associate Director, Programs & Research, John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding | Chair, US National Committee to the International Union of Geological Sciences | Member, Board on International Scientific Organizations, National Academies
Session Leaders: Mandë Holford
Engaging next generation leaders in Arctic science diplomacy: Model Arctic Council
Fulbright Arctic Initiative: An Innovative Model for Policy Relevant Research and Public Outreach
UArctic Shared Voices 2016: a diversity of science diplomacy issues across Arctic nations
Websites to Browse:
Date: Thursdays, February 9-March 17, 2017
Science Soapbox is a student-run podcast at the intersection of science, policy, and advocacy produced by Maryam Zaringhalam, Avital Percher, and Devon Collins. The podcast acts as a public-facing platform to highlight insights from emerging and prominent thinkers influencing science and its impact on society through policymaking, community engagement, and diplomacy.
The items listed are essential background reading. Two or three additional articles will be distributed each week pertaining to the weekly topics.