By Alexis Roig

Barcelona at Night. Photo credit: Creative Commons

A new global order is emerging around cities and their markets, rather than nation-states and their borders. Big cities are economic, political and innovation powerhouses discreetly transforming the international scene, becoming legitimate geopolitical actors and increasingly bypassing nation-states to bring global public policy closer to local citizens.

By 2025, the 600 largest urban economies in the world will produce 65% of global economic growth. By 2050, nearly 70% of the world population will be urban. Cities have become the early adopters of emerging technologies, testbeds for global social changes and autonomous diplomatic players.

For the last centuries…


By Molly Douglas and Patricia Gruver Barr

Science diplomacy is generally thought of as a two-actor space populated by scientists and diplomats. In this conceptualization, scientists have a terminal degree and a string of peer-reviewed publications behind their names, and diplomats are employed in the foreign services of their home governments to advance policy agendas overseas. Together, they enact science for diplomacy, diplomacy for science, and science in diplomacy.

This is no surprise: the term “science diplomacy” itself begs the two-actor conceptualization. But it’s dated. Science diplomacy is evolving in theory and practice, and new and non-traditional actors constitute a…


By Nizar Farsakh

In general, territorial disputes arise over contending conceptions of titles and rights. One party believes it has title over a territory or an asset and the other party believes it has the same or overlapping rights. While a large part of the dispute boils down to subjective opinion, there is always a distinct and objective set of facts that neither side can dispute. Moreover, those sets of facts are often the starting point for conflict resolution. …


By Ambassador Scott DeLisi

Science and the use of scientific evidence must increasingly be a part of the toolbox that diplomats and policy-makers must use to drive solutions to the problems in their communities, countries, and the world. At the AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy, we are encouraged at the number of senior-level diplomats who understand this reality and we seek to highlight practical examples from their experiences through a new series here on Medium. This post by Ambassador Scott DeLisi describes his experiences using input from the scientific and engineering communities to develop policies for risk management when he…


Panama City, Panama | Credit: Ron Reiring via Flickr Creative Commons

By Rolando A. Gittens and Sandra López-Vergès

Panama is a small country in Central America famous for its coffee and Canal. Panama City, its capital, often takes first-time visitors by surprise with its skyscrapers and luxury lifestyle, juxtaposed with an aged infrastructure and poor neighborhoods lacking consistent basic services like water and solid waste management. In the last decade, Panama has experienced an exciting period of growth while it simultaneously struggles to address some important discrepancies. The country has one of the strongest economies in Central America and the Caribbean, but also has among one of the largest socioeconomic inequalities…


By Tom Wang

Ten years ago this week, on another warm summer day, the then-CEO of AAAS, Alan Leshner, announced the creation of the AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy. During his testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Research and Science Education, Leshner said:

AAAS believes this use of scientific collaboration and communication [between the United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War] is essential both to the advancement of science and its use for the benefit of our global society. For these reasons I am very pleased to announce today the creation of a new AAAS…


By Cathy Campbell

As a science diplomacy advocate and a long-time facilitator of U.S.-Russia science cooperation, I frequently ask myself if science diplomacy can help improve relations between the U.S. and Russia. The July 16th meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin provide a timely backdrop to consider this question. Independent of what happens at that meeting, where science most certainly will not be on the agenda, my answer to the question posed is a cautious “yes.”

Credit | Reuters

U.S.-Russia relations are at an all-time low. Ongoing tensions over a range of issues — Syria, Russia’s annexation of Crimea, NATO, Russia’s interference in…


By Debanjana Chatterjee

As we reflect over the past 10 years of the AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy, a major recent trend that we have observed is the grassroots efforts of students and early-career scientists who seek to take ownership of their own education and training in science diplomacy. We see these efforts led by alumni from our courses in science diplomacy (such as #SDL2018, taking place next week) and through our initiative to bring this community together under the Science Diplomacy Education Network. This piece by Dr. …


By Paul Dufour

There will be an increasing need to recognize the global nature of the science-policy decisions, and the need to establish a new relationship between science and power that acknowledges that international dimension. Knowledge is power — power to produce, to foresee, to prevent. To apply that knowledge for the benefit of mankind is wisdom. Knowledge and wisdom are the two main pillars of a better, common future. (Federico Mayor, Science and Power, edited by Nigel Hawkes, UNESCO Publishing, Paris, 1995)

As Federico Mayor foretold over two decades ago, we live in an age where the sciences demonstrate…


By Mahlet N. Mesfin

Yesterday, the United States government announced its intention to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan for Action (JCPOA), citing its concerns that the agreement is one-sided and fatally flawed. While this move has been expected since the results of the 2016 U.S. election, there was an overwhelming amount of support from the diplomatic, scientific, and international community for the terms of the agreement made in 2015, in part due to the rigor and technical expertise that went into negotiating the specific terms of the agreement. Regardless of ongoing debate about…

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