The Madrid Declaration on Science Diplomacy


February 2019


Science diplomacy has long been a tool to develop bilateral and multilateral relationships. However, the definition and applications of science diplomacy have broadened considerably in recent years. This conceptual broadening coincides with the growing understanding that science and technology underpin so many of the challenges and opportunities that current societies face, whether as a driver or a potential solution. Integrating science into foreign policy to not only advance national interests but also to tackle shared global challenges is an appropriate response.

In this context, S4D4C organized the 1st Global Meeting on Science Diplomacy titled “EU Science Diplomacy beyond 2020” in Madrid in December last year. At this event, experts from around the world discussed the present and future of science diplomacy, its fundamental role in addressing global challenges and the requirements to harness its full potential in the EU and beyond.

As a result of these fruitful discussions this “Madrid Declaration on Science Diplomacy” was signed by a group of high-level experts who contributed to the conference. It proclaims a common vision of science diplomacy in the future, emphasises the benefits science diplomacy can bring to tackling the global challenges of our time and outlines the principles needed to foster science diplomacy worldwide.


The “Madrid Declaration on Science Diplomacy” aims to foster agreement and raise awareness about the need to strengthen science diplomacy strategies and practices world-wide for the support of universal scientific and democratic values. These strategies are required to suitably include science and technology as key dimensions of foreign policy and international relationships at different political levels. This confluence of interests must be in the benefit of both the scientific endeavor as well as legitimate broader political and societal objectives.

Science diplomacy, in the context of this Declaration, is understood as a series of practices at the intersection of science, technology and foreign policy. The renewed interest in science diplomacy comes in response to identified challenges at the interface of science and foreign policy, where a greater scientific voice could both add value to bi- and multilateral discussions and decisions about our shared global concerns. Joint science diplomacy objectives are possible where actors converge around such common challenges. Therefore, science diplomacy goes beyond international science collaboration, as it tackles interests that go beyond the scientific ones and may directly or indirectly serve to advance diplomatic goals. The Madrid conference highlighted the growing importance of science diplomacy on a global level. One important role for science diplomacy, in this regard, is to build bridges between science, technology and innovation practices, national and regional interests, as well as global challenges.

We firmly believe that:

  • Science diplomacy is often not fully exploited at all levels of governance, and especially at supranational levels;
  • More explicit science diplomacy strategies at national and supranational levels would allow for a more effective alignment of interests and a more efficient coordination of resources.


We firmly believe that the potential of science diplomacy is yet to be fully realized. It includes:

  • Endeavours to address global challenges. Science and technology are global enterprises. Together with other tools in diplomacy, science diplomacy can facilitate the identification of common global challenges. Coordinated scientific efforts can help to address these global challenges. The relationship between global challenges and scientific practices goes both ways. Efforts to achieve the “Sustainable Development Goals” are an example of how global challenge-related policy-making and scientific research must be in constant dialogue.
  • More productive and sustainable international relations at multilateral and bilateral levels owing their interaction with science and technology. The precondition for this is that scientific activities are considered but not appropriated by broader political rationales.
  • Evidence-informed foreign policy supported by science and technology, aiming at substantive and resilient international agreements, treaties and policies.
  • Better conditions for scientific activities due to the contribution of foreign policy agendas. Diplomacy, with the support of the scientific community, has a particular role to play in the implementation of larger scientific initiatives and projects (e.g. research infrastructures, joint programmes, etc.).
  • Improved interfaces between science and public policies. Science diplomacy can contribute to eliminating cultural, sectoral, and knowledge barriers between different actors such as policy-makers, researchers, diplomatic bodies and civil society.


  • Value for citizens: governments, diplomats and researchers are encouraged to acknowledge and demonstrate science diplomacy as a fundamental and universal tool to improve international relations in general.
  • Methodological diversity: consider explicit and implicit types of science diplomacy objectives. This involves acknowledging that not all relevant science diplomacy practices are labelled as such. Putting the science diplomacy label on a given project, programme or policy is a strategic choice.
  • Demonstrable impact: the potential positive effects of science diplomacy need to be measured and recognized. At the same time, there may be unintended side effects that need to be acknowledged and assessed. Public policies not relating to science diplomacy may also have unintended effects in the realm of science diplomacy.
  • Evidence-informed: in foreign affairs-related policies in relevant areas. This knowledge can be content-related (e.g. scientific evidence on climate change, global inequality, cyber security), context-related (e.g. knowledge about a specific innovation system) or process-related (e.g. evaluative knowledge on the effects and the outcome of science diplomacy interventions).
  • Collaboration and inclusion: science diplomacy is a multi-actor effort in which diplomats, scientists and science managers as well as other non- state actors can have a role and can contribute to its deployment. This applies at the local, regional, national and international level. This innovative model brings new governance and coordination mechanisms that need to be managed in dialogue with all stakeholders.
  • Capacity building: All stakeholders involved in science diplomacy will benefit from exchange and suitable capacity building activities. Therefore, cutting-edge, interdisciplinary, intergenerational, interactive training modules are needed. These will enable diplomats, public officials and scientists to cooperate in an efficient way, strengthening future science diplomacy. This capacity building runs in parallel to the need to establish new science diplomacy positions such as science advisors in foreign ministries, scientific staff at Embassies, etc., which will also foster new career paths for science diplomacy professionals.
  • Independence of science: science is an extremely useful tool for addressing global challenges and for improving international relationships as long as it is not distorted by ideological goals

The declaration is intending a truly global reach.If you would like to sign it as well, just send your name, affiliation and motivation to sign to!


The Madrid Declaration as pdf: Download


Full list of signatories (updated continuously)


Note: The experts promoting this Declaration are signing on an individual basis. Their signature does not mean endorsement by any institution.

Name Surname Position
Reham Abo-Shnaf Researcher, Plant Protection Research Institute (PPRI)
Muhammad Adeel Career Diplomat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan
Katalin Alföldi Policy Officer and Grant Coordinator, European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Organisation
Nelva Alvarado Researcher, University of Panama
Orhan Alta Professor, Instanbul Technical University
Ana Anselmo Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie
Ewert Aukes Post-doctoral researcher, University of Twente
Chagun Basha DST’s Policy Research Centre, IISc Bangalore, Policy Fellow
Yoran Beldengrün Mercator Fellow on International Affairs 18/19 in Science Diplomacy
Paul Berkman Director, Science Diplomacy Center, Tufts University
Marta Božina Beroš Associate Professor, University of Pula
Philipp Brugner Project Manager, Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI)
Neha Bhutani Postdoctoral Researcher, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Canada
Veronica Buccheri Senior Specialist, International Relations Service of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), Italy
Melody Burkins Postdoctoral Researcher, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Canada
Cecilia Cabello Director R&I Policies and Internationalization, Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT)
Reina Camacho Toro LPNHE/CNRS ATLAS experiment @CERN
Franklin Carrero-Martínez Board director, National Academy of Sciences
Sara Cebrián Science and Innovation Attaché, British Embassy in Madrid
William Colglazier Senior scholar, Center for Science Diplomacy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Pedro Cortegoso Education attaché, Spanish Embassy in Brasil
Marie Croce Junior Researcher, Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI)
Kerstin Cuhls Scientific project manager, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI
Elke Dall Senior researcher, Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI)
Alexander Degelsegger-Márquez Senior researcher, Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI)
Wolfgang Eberhardt Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY and delegate of Germany to the Council of SESAME
Ana Elorza Science advice coordinator, Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT)
Javier Escudero President, Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom
Omololu Fawunga Researcher at the University of Huddersfield
Andrew Fenemor Senior Scientist Integrated Catchment Management, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, New Zealand
Tim Flink Post-doctoral researcher and lecturer, Humboldt University of Berlin
Cristina Fraile Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Spain in the US
Silvia Herminia García Martínez Auditor, Instituto de Fomento Municipal, Guatemala
Miguel García-Herráiz Roobaert Former Deputy Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean
Rolando A. Gittens Researcher, INDICASAT AIP
Peter Gluckman Chair, International Network for Government Science Advice
Didier Goosens Head of Corporate Communication, Fonds National de la Recherche, Luxembourg
Robin Grimes Professor, Imperial College London and former Chief Science Adviser of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom
Nicole Grobert Chief Scientific Advisor of the Science Advice Mechanism to the European Commission
Marga Gual Soler Senior Project Director, AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy, and member of the RISE High-Level Advisory Group to European Commissioner Carlos Moedas
Adrián Gutiérrez Science & Technology Counsellor, Embassy of Spain in New Delhi, India. Representative of CDTI
Claudia Guerrero Director of International Cooperation in Panama
Jürgen Haberleithner Professor and researcher, Universidad de Colima
Ralf Hermann Head of the German Office for International Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training (GOVET)
Alma Cristal Hernández-Mondragón Science, Centers and Transfer of Knowledge Director, SECTEI, México City Government
Viktoria Holler Project manager, Diplomatische Akademie Wien
Niccolò Iorno Science Officer, Swiss Federal Department Foreign Affairs
Borja Izquierdo International Science Department Director, Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT)
Agnieszka Jarzewicz Independent expert for the European Commission
Maria Josten Senior scientific officer, German Aerospace Center / Project Management Agency (DLR)
Dirk-Jan Koch Chief Science officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands
Jacek Łukasz Kolanowski Principal Investigator, Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry PAS in Poznan, Poland, and Vice-Chair-Elect of the Polish Young Academy
Thomas König Institute for Advanced Studies (Vienna)
Olga Krasnyak Lecturer in International Studies, Underwood International College of Yonsei University
Stefan Kuhlmann Professor, University of Twente
Léonard Laborie Researcher, CNRS, Deputy coordinator of the Horizon 2020 project “Inventing a shared science diplomacy for Europe” (InsSciDE)
Luis Miguel Lacerda President of the Portuguese Association of Researchers and Students in the UK
Izaskun Lacunza Head of Unit, Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT)
Angela Liberatore Head of Unit Social Sciences and Humanities, European Research Council
David Mandelweit Researcher, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Júlia Mascarello Master Student, Federal University of Santa Catarina – Brazil
Katja Mayer Scientific project manager, Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI)
Claire Mays Executive Director, Inventing a science diplomacy for Europe (InsSciDE)
Peter McGrath Coordinator, Science Policy/Science Diplomacy programme of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS)
Lorenzo Melchor Former Science Coordinator, Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology at the Spanish Embassy in London
Margoth Mena Young Researcher, Universidad de Costa Rica
Nadia Meyer Senior scientific officer, German Aerospace Center / Project Management Agency (DLR)
Alexandra Middleton Assistant professor, University of Oulu
James Moran Ambassador,
Associate Senior Fellow,
Centre for European Policy Studies
Pier Francesco Moretti Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Italy
Jan Marco Müller Head of Directorate Office / Coordinator for Science to Policy and Science Diplomacy, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Mona Nemer Chief Scientific Advisor to Canada´s Prime Minister
Eduardo Oliver Secretary-General, Network of Associations of Spanish Researchers and Scientists Abroad (RAICEX)
Miguel Oliveros Cultural and Scientific Diplomatic Counselor, Spanish Embassy in London
Gonzalo Ordoñez Matamoros Assistant Professor, University of Twente
Minh-Hà Pham Vice President for International Relations, Université PSL and former Counsellor for Science and Technology, Embassy of France in the United States
Steven Phipps Senior Research Fellow, University of Tasmania
Sergiu Porcescu Founder, Knowledge HUB Moldova
Alexander Raer PhD Candidate, University of Tübingen, Denmark
Pauline Ravinet Assistant professor, University of Lille
Jonas Reiche-Weiland Academic Coordinator, Arab-German Young Academy
Margarida Ribeiro Policy Officer, Directorate General of Research Technology and Development of the European Commission
Alexis Roig CEO, SciTech DiploHub – the Barcelona Science and Technology Diplomacy Hub
Marco Rondón Robles Biologist, Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (SERNANP), Perú
Raquel Saiz Responsible Research and Innovation coordinator, Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Gulsen Saray Lecturer, HBVU University, Turkey
Fernando Simón Director, Spanish Coordinating Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies
Paramdeep Singh Associate Professor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences
Zehra Sayers Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Sabancı University, Turkey
Klaus Schuch Scientific Director, Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI)
Mostafa Moonir Shawrav Vice-Chair Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA)
Francesca Tolve Office for European and International Relations, National Research Council of Italy (CNR)
Mario Torres Director of the European Institute of International Studies, Sweden
Riccardo Trobbiani Project Researcher, United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS)
Luk Van Langenhove Scientific coordinator of the EL-CSID project (European Leadership for cultural, science and innovation diplomacy)
David Velázquez Communication officer, EU Polar-net. Alfred-Wegener-Institute
Yoan Israel Viamonte Garrido SciTechIntel Consulting Services, Ecuador
Tom Wang Former Director of the Centre for Science Diplomacy, AAAS
Mitchell Young Assistant professor, Charles University