2016 International Dialogue on Science and Technology Advice to Foreign Ministries

October 18 – 19, 2016 | Vienna

Organized by: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Pan-Arctic Options Participant: Paul Berkman


Adapted from a description generated by IIASA.

On 18-19 October 2016, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), in collaboration with The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the International Network of Government Science Advice (INGSA), and the Global Network of Science and Technology Advisors in Foreign Ministries, organized a high-level international dialogue on science diplomacy.

In February 2016, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences hosted a meeting convened by the Science and Technology Advisers to the Foreign Ministers from Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. During this meeting, the importance of increasing the capacity and capability of Foreign Ministries to address the ever-increasing number of issues at the interface of science, technology, and innovation was raised as a key area. The aforementioned issues included global challenges such as climate change, but also international trade, development cooperation, the governance of international spaces, and crisis management (e.g. in the case of pandemics). The meeting also addressed the fulfillment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and their ambitious time horizon and how it will require a faster take-up of scientific and technological knowledge in foreign policies, while harnessing the potential of science as a “soft power” in diplomacy.

The IIASA-hosted event built on the Ministerial meeting with creation of an international dialogue on integrating science and technology advice into Foreign Ministries. Approximately 30 senior foreign policy experts from around the planet attended. The dialogue comprised a mix of presentations, discussions, and training based on case-study exercises, given or moderated by some of the best scholars and practitioners in the field.

Paul Berkman chaired the “Science and Technology Advice to Foreign Policies – Setting the Scene” panel and delivered a dinner speech on “Science Diplomacy in International Spaces: Balancing National Interests and Common Interests” on October 18th. He also provided concluding remarks on both days of the event.

Photo (c) IIASA. Source: Flickr. License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.