UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


'Science Diplomacy' and Global Change workshop

9:00 am to 5:30 pm, 21 February 2017

Science Diplomacy

Event Information

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Lord Baltimore Hotel, 20 W Baltimore St Baltimore, MD 21201

As part of STEaPP's research project on 'science diplomacy', Dr Carolin Kaltofen and Dr Jason Blackstock will be running a workshop on 'science diplomacy' and global change in Baltimore.


The role of scientists, scientific information and technology in world politics pervades the spectrum of global policy challenges like never before. Similarly, there is increasing mention of and interest in the science-governance interphase across different fields of study. Yet 'science diplomacy' as a global practice is understudied and under-theorised. 

This workshop provides a direct response to this shortcoming by offering a platform for discussion as well as for the development of a growing network of practitioners and scholars of 'science diplomacy'.


The workshop seeks to analyse and develop the role of science and technology in global change as well as situate the emerging scholarship of 'science diplomacy' within the field of International Relations. The workshop will pursue a set of analytical and applied goals. These include an in-depth analysis of the relationship between our modern diplomatic and scientific practices. Working from the assumption that 'science diplomacy' is an important part of the modern foreign policy repertoire, the second aim of the workshop is to draft strategies for navigating 'science diplomacy' in operational terms. This applied work will be guided by two interrelated questions:

  1. How can we employ 'science diplomacy' in a deliberate, mediated and structured manner?
  2. How can its theory and practice be incorporated into capacity building and practitioner training?

In this sense, the workshop plays a crucial role in the development of this nascent field of scholarship by making a significant contribution to our understanding and practice of 'science diplomacy' and by developing a network for collaboration.


The role of discussion leaders is to start off a session and open up the discussion with brief comments (4-5min each), and to facilitate the session where necessary. Opening comments can frame, contextualise, and/or problematise the session topic and creative, provocative comments are encouraged.



Details Led by
Session 1: 9.00-9.15 Welcome, introductory remarks and notes on methods Carolin Kaltofen and Jason Blackstock (University College London)
Session 2: 9.15-10.30

Mapping the theory and practice of 'science diplomacy'

Chair: Madeline Carr (Cardiff University)

Discussion leaders: Tom Wang (AAAS), Jason Blackstock (University College London), Michele Acuto (University College London)
10.30-11.00 Coffee break   
Session 3: 11:00-12:15  The Role of 'Science Diplomacy' in Global Change Chair: David Hornsby (University of the Witwatersrand) Discussion leaders: Matthias Leese (ETH Zurich), Kathleen Brennan (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Maximilian Mayer (Tongji University), Su Ping (Tongji University)
12.15-13.00 Lunch Break  
Session 4: 13.00-14.15 World Politics by New Means: Strategies and Mechanisms in 'Science Diplomacy'

Chair: Carolin Kaltofen Discussion Leaders: James Der Derian (University of Sydney), Michele Acuto (University College London), JP Singh (University of Edinburgh), Katharina Hone (DiploFoundation)
Session 5: 14.15-15.30  'Science Diplomacy': Training and Edication
Discussion Leaders: Tom Wang (AAAS) and Jason Blackstock (University College London) Chair/Facilitator: Jason Blackstock and Carolin Kaltofen (University College London)
15.30-16.00 Coffee Break  
Session 6: 16.00-17.15 Change for Better or Worse? What Lessons Can We Draw and Where Do We Go from Here?
Plenary Session
Session 7: 18.30-late Continued musing over dinner   

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