Is Science Diplomacy on Hold? GORDON CAIN CONFERENCE Public Panel

Is Science Diplomacy on Hold?


In the context of the Workshop

Diplomatic Studies of Science: The Interplay of Science, Technology, and International Affairs after the Second World War

 In person at Maison de la chimie, Paris,
Monday June 13, 16.30-18.30

Moderator: Gordon Cain Fellow Prof. Maria Rentetzi, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

Within 48 hours of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany’s research ministry ordered a suspension of institutional research collaborations with Russia. This was probably the first and most immediate response to a brutal war. More sanctions in relation to scientific and academic cooperation with Russia followed suit. The EU’s scientific ties with Russia, supported by academic organizations, research institutions including CERN, and the funding agencies of several EU member states, which have been a significant part of EU’s science diplomacy strategy so far, were severed. A recent anonymous survey among Russian academics, of whom only two supported the war, shows that scientists feel trapped and anticipate that in the long run scientific sanctions will be counterproductive. Moreover, they will force Russians to shift research topics and reorient themselves towards India and China. In the end, as several analysts argue, scientific fields such as research on climate change or space science will be deeply affected and, in the long run, the sanctions could undermine EU’s primacy in those.

Given the dramatic geopolitical changes of the last months, science diplomacy, once considered primarily as soft power, seems to have been put on hold. Even worse, in the blink of an eye, science diplomacy has been transformed into an instrument of hard power that aims to coerce Moscow and influence Putin’s military brutalities and Russia’s international affairs. This panel brings together academics, science advisors, and science policy makers to discuss not whether science diplomacy is “the right tool for the job” in the war in Ukraine, but to reconsider what science diplomacy is and how strong academic disciplines in terms of their methodology, such as philosophy and history, can help us understand the role of science in times of international crisis and war.

Prof. Aristides Baltas, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Science, National Technical University of Athens and former Minister of Culture of Greece

Prof. Melissa Denecke, Director of Division of Physical and Chemical Sciences, Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, International Atomic Energy Agency

Prof. Joachim Hornegger, President of Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

Dr. Gabriella Ivacs, Head of theArchives and Records Management Section, International Atomic Energy Agency

Prof. John Krige, Kranzberg Professor EmeritusSchool of History and SociologyGeorgia Institute of Technology, USA

Dr. Angela Liberatore, Head of the Scientific Department, European Research Council Executive Agency

To register or for more information:

Monday June 13, 16.30-18.30

Venue : Maison de la Chimie, 28 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris

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