Science Diplomacy requires both physical and material, but also social enabling conditions to thrive. These should include not only the creation of robust, reliable, intuitive and secure platforms and networks for scientists, diplomats and policymakers for negotiation and access to knowledge,6 but also communication, deliberation, dialogue and interaction mechanisms. It should also encompass norms and values that increase the likelihood of constructive and productive interactions. The development and maintenance of distributed but interconnected sources of Strategic Intelligence (Kuhlmann et al. 1999) will be a constitutive cornerstone of capacity building.
This leads to the following principle:
Science diplomatic activities should create, reinforce and/or draw on suitable and sufficient institutional and organizational resources, political will, reliable and inclusive knowledge resources, and gatekeeping proficiency.
To ensure this principle is considered, ask yourself:
- What physical, social and material conditions does the specific activity require to be effective?
- Which of these appropriate conditions are already in place?
- What can be done to realize such conditions?
Eliška Černovská (Charles University)
A joint scientific infrastructure was established to bring together scientists from countries traditionally in conflict. Apart from promoting peace in a conflictual region via a cooperative approach, the platform targeted sharing knowledge among relevant stakeholders and advocating open access to resources. However, scientists remained entangled in their culture and nationally-oriented perspectives. As they kept on working and communicating predominantly in separate units, this prevented the envisioned cooperation to be realized to the fullest extent.
After evaluating how this situation hindered fruitful international cooperation, the joint scientific infrastructure board launched new interaction mechanisms such as international teams, deliberation and dialogue structures based on sharing distinct perspectives of relevant actors. Even though socialization within this science diplomacy infrastructure turned out to be a long-run process, the inter-group cooperation and communication increased eventually, and a more constructive approach within the whole institution was noticed.