1. How to Get Started?
2. What Is Science Diplomacy?
3. Who Are the Science Diplomacy Stakeholders?
4. How Does the EU Practice Science Diplomacy?
5. What Are the National, Regional and Thematic Approaches of Science Diplomacy?
6. What Set of Skills Do I Need to Be a Good Science Diplomat?
7. Hands On! Case Studies
8. How Can You Dive Deeper into Science Diplomacy?
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6.2.2 Skills for Science Advice in Foreign Policy

In the article “Science Diplomacy: A Pragmatic Perspective from the Inside”, Vaughan Turekian, Peter Gluckman, Teruo Kishi, and Robin Grimes (former science advisors to the foreign ministries of the United States, New Zealand, Japan, and the UK), identified the following factors for the success of Chief Science Advisers (CSA) in Foreign Ministries:

  • Collaboration throughout government: Strong strategic and operational communication between the chief science adviser within the foreign ministry and other government departments with responsibility for S&T policies.
  • Communication and support within the foreign ministry: Personal interactions and ability to network at both the political and civil and foreign service levels.
  • Relationships with the scientific community: The Foreign Ministry CSA should be a recognized and credible figure in the science community, and sufficiently experienced to inspire confidence within the civil service. Ideally, qualifications should include connections with industry.
  • Access to science and technology expertise: The CSA may need assistance from dedicated teams – e.g., to commission studies or write briefs for officials or ministers.

Science advisers have to recognise the limits of science and accept that they inform rather than and not make policy themselves (Gluckman 2014). They have to adopt and feel comfortable with the role of a broker (cf. Pielke 2007), not of an advocate, i.e. they have to lay out options instead of prescribing a course of action. They also have to understand competing interests from all societal actors and be able to sustain the trust of the public, the media, policymakers, politicians and scientists, engaging all these communities.

Peter GLUCKMAN
Peter GLUCKMAN Chair of the International Network of Government Science Advice (INGSA) and president-elect of the International Science Council (ISC). Former Chief Science Advisor to the New Zealand Prime Minister (2009 to 2018)
What are the competencies and skills necessary for a good science diplomat?