AAAS Science and Diplomacy workshop hears on Disaster Risk Science as a core area for collaboration

AAASCo-chaired by Dr. Vaughan Turekian, Editor-in-Chief of the AAAS Journal Science and Diplomacy, and the CE of New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the science and diplomacy symposium held in Auckland, New Zealand today, 27th August, explored ‘the place of science in foreign ministries’.

The science and diplomacy symposium focused on the essential question: “How should scientists have input into the operation of foreign ministries and in particular into three pillars of foreign affairs (diplomacy, trade/economics and foreign aid)?” The discussions also included mechanisms and methods that can bring scientists and policy makers in science and technology in closer alignment with ministries or departments of foreign affairs and vice versa, the role of public scientists in assisting countries’ foreign policy positions and how this can be optimized, as well as the challenges and opportunities in enhancing the role of science in international affairs.

The agenda included panel sessions on Science and Diplomacy, Science and Aid, and Science and Trade. An overview of Science and Diplomacy was also discussed in the morning with perspectives from small countries, large countries and low and/or middle income countries.

The IRDR Executive Director who had attended the workshop said: “Presentations and exchanges during the day highlighted the contributions that an international community of practice in DRR research can make to addressing urgent needs in cross-border emergencies. The volcanological study of Royal Society in North Korea is as much of a good example, as the support given to improving DRM management skills in Central Asia as reported by Japan’s JSTA. It is even more encouraging to see that increasingly such science diplomacy activities in the field of natural hazards and DRR move from response to prevention mode.”