Multidisciplinary science projects sometimes find themselves in an interaction space with foreign policy and international relations.
The Transnational Red Sea Centre is based on research by the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) on corals in the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea which showed that corals are more resistant to rising water temperatures than other corals. In order to facilitate collaboration and deepen the understanding, a regional research facility is being set up with support of Switzerland’s ministry for foreign affairs. The project provides opportunities for dialogue between scientists and policymakers. Switzerland facilitates and promotes dialogue in the Red Sea region, which remains a politically and culturally fragile part of the world. The project receives also diplomatic support to facilitate the dialogue at the political level in order to create fertile ground for the project to materialise, bringing together politicians, scientists and diplomats. The project’s first priority will be taking samples of coral along the Red Sea to understand what state it’s in. That will take cooperation from multiple countries who don’t always get along.
The Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX) study is a multidisciplinary climate change, air quality, environment and research infrastructure programme focused on the Northern Eurasian particularly arctic and boreal regions. It also provides a forum for science diplomacy. It is a bottom-up initiative by several European, Russian and Chinese research organizations and institutes. The initiative is open to join in based on the PEEX Science Plan (here).
Visit sites: https://actu.epfl.ch/news/a-research-center-to-protect-the-red-sea-ecosystem and https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00090/full (on the Transnational Red Sea Centre), https://www.atm.helsinki.fi/peex/ (on the Pan-Eurasian Experiment)
Keywords: Projects, Bringing scientists together, Science conferences, Working groups, Education and outreach