Yesterday Professor Van Lagenhove, research professor at the Institute of European Studies at the VUB in Belgium, has been interviewed by the EU Research & Innovation Magazine on the state of the art of science diplomacy in Europe. From the interview has emerged that “Some countries, such as Switzerland or Spain, have a well-developed strategic vision on what they want to achieve by their science diplomacy efforts. Spain is an interesting example, because they are quite innovative in how they use the concept of science diplomacy and how they link it to a number of practices, including this quite interesting practice of a shadowing system, where they invite scientists to shadow diplomats for a while, and vice versa. That’s good at raising awareness among scientists, and that is definitely needed because one of the problems of science diplomacy might well be that we are not really sure how the scientists themselves look at it. There might be some reluctance (which would cause) some to say, “Well what’s this? I’m a scientist, I’m not a diplomat. Why do you want to use me for state interests?” Hence, raising awareness is definitely a very important issue.’
In addition, the EU Research & Innovation Magazine states that: “The universal language of science’ can keep channels of communication open in the absence of other viable policy approaches, according to Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science.
One example of science diplomacy in action is the SESAME particle accelerator in Jordan that brings together scientists from Middle East countries, including Israel and Palestine.”
Professor Van Lagenhove recently wrote a report on the development of science diplomacy in EU.
For more information about the interview visit the website: https://horizon-magazine.eu/article/how-alternative-facts-could-be-tackled-science-diplomacy_en.html
If you want to download the report follow the link: https://bookshop.europa.eu/en/tools-for-an-eu-science-diplomacy-pbKI0117062/