This week S4D4C members met in Trieste with a broad range of stakeholders, including also some of the colleagues from InsSciDE in a cluster meeting. The focus of that meeting, which was chaired by Marga Gual Soler, member of the advisory board of both projects, was on the one hand to share our experiences and plans related to “training science diplomacy” and on the other hand to discuss possibilities for science diplomacy in the future college of Commissioners and the EU framework programme Horizon Europe in particular.
The discussion on training activities was fed by results from the AAAS-TWAS Train the Trainer event which was held between 23 and 26 of August. We discussed the different building blocks for successful training activities and the respective implications: (1) the course goals and learning objectives, (2) target audience and institution (scientists, diplomats, universities, government, NGOs …), (3) the content: general vs topic-specific (e.g. focused on a specific challenge such as energy diplomacy or a specific region), (4) duration: short course, intensive course, semester, masters…, (5) delivery method: online vs. in person, (6) evaluation and impact assessment. S4D4C plans are to pilot in person 2 ½ day workshops and to develop a flexible online course; InsSciDE is looking forward to setting up summer schools in 2020 and 2021. Thus, we shared our ideas for curriculum development, progressed in coming to joint definitions and priorities and discussed sustainability of the materials developed.
In relation to Horizon Europe, we re-evaluated our brainstorming exercise from spring 2019 in the light of the projects review and discussions taking place within the RISE group. Summing up, we believe that the challenges outlined in the strategic agenda for the programme all have an international component and that there is a benefit in aligning them also with external policies. For example, strengthening the links to the External Action Service should be included when updating the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation from 2012 while at the same time, science diplomacy should be intensified as part of the Global Strategy for the EU’s foreign policy. We call for all stakeholders and friends to join us advocating:
Support the EU as a strong international actor with dedicated approaches to science diplomacy. Strengthen multilateral initiatives addressing global challenges, keep the cooperation channels open even when political opinions diverge. Follow activities through a science diplomacy observatory.
We invite our readers to send the message also to the European Commission – through your personal contacts as well as via the open consultation: https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/HorizonEurope_Codesign_2021-2024 (see question 13 for a very short support to science diplomacy and the Section D for your more general comments).
Please let us know if you have any important comments or suggestions. The inter- and transdisciplinary exchange is invaluable and we are have many assets in our consortia and networks that we can put together for our shared objectives.