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Alex Deghan - Five Laws of Science Diplomacy


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USAID Science and Technology Advisor Dr. Alex Deghan outlines great challenges that require diplomatic solutions that incorporate science and technology, at the October 19, 2010 Science Diplomacy Boot Camp for Journalists.

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Alex Deghan - Five Laws of Science Diplomacy

  1. 1. Five Laws of Science Diplomacy Dr. Alex Dehgan Science & Technology Adviser to the Administrator U.S. Agency for International Development
  2. 2. “ The United States is no longer bordered by just Canada and Mexico.” Our backyard is much bigger now. Saeb Erakat You are here
  3. 3. Rule 1: We are all in it together
  4. 4. Global Climatic Disruption Climate change will both affect the US and the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa substantially – this is a national security issue, an economic issue, a diplomacy issue.
  5. 5. Environmental Degradation
  6. 6. Loss of Biodiversity Loss of Pollinators (Colony Collapse Disorder: 20-40% of US bee colonies, perhaps 50 billion bees; 90% of bat colony collapse in NE caves, Increased invasive species, increased disease risk (Chytrid fungus contributing to extinction or decline of 200 ssp. of frogs), unprecedented rates of species loss.
  7. 7. New diseases are emerging at a "historically unprecedented" rate of one per year. In the last five years alone, WHO has documented more than 1,100 epidemics including bird flu, polio and cholera. Emerging Infectious Diseases
  8. 8. Ungoverned Voids
  9. 9. Rule 2: Science Diplomacy Works Best with our Most Challenging Relationships
  10. 10. Scientific Diplomacy During the Cold War <ul><li>Has been used for the last 50 years, including during the cold war, but narrowly tailored. Old fashion diplomacy is no longer sufficient. The realm of diplomacy has greatly expanded to include other agents. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>June 2004 Zogby International Poll </li></ul><ul><li>Only 11 percent of Moroccans surveyed had a favorable overall view of the United States—but 90 percent had a positive view of U.S. science and technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Only 15 percent of Jordanians had a positive overall view, but 83 percent registered admiration for U.S. science and technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Among people under 30, attitudes toward U.S. science tended to be even more positive. </li></ul>The Public Diplomacy Challenge
  12. 12. Science as Public Diplomacy Science is the one area in the Islamic World where the United States enjoys an overwhelming popular opinion. The language of science is the same worldwide. Supporting scientific capacity allows the U.S. to counter arguments that it seeks to keep the Muslim World oppressed. Science provides a common language, common values, and common culture for engagement that is valued by all countries.
  13. 13. Promoting Moderation & Rationality Scientific engagement serves U.S. interests to promote stability by empowering a traditional source of moderate leadership in the country. Scientists frequently are the intelligentsia of society, and play important roles as leaders in many developing countries.
  14. 14. Scientific Engagement with Iran ?
  15. 15. <ul><li>Leaders in the middle east in total # publications/annum, growth rate of publications, behind Turkey & Kuwait in publications/capita; evolving quickly. </li></ul><ul><li>Sanctions have actually accelerated endemic scientific growth. Developed own line of stem cells for research. Different from Arab World, development of true knowledge society, and point of pride. </li></ul><ul><li>US is foremost among international co-authors, not Europe, China, or Russia. </li></ul><ul><li>Strong historical ties, significant, well-educated, expat community in US. Particular strengths in medicine. During the shah's era, Iranians made up the largest group of foreign students at U.S. schools, according to the Institute of International Education </li></ul>Science is Important
  16. 16. Environmental Diplomacy with Iran Panthera WCS
  17. 18. Rule 3: Science Diplomacy requires True Scientific Exchange
  18. 19. Mechanics of Science Diplomacy <ul><li>Science Diplomacy must be more than a public diplomacy function, but be based on sound science. </li></ul><ul><li>Its greatest strength occurs when it is least politicized and is jointly conducted. </li></ul><ul><li>It must meet real needs within a country or region. </li></ul><ul><li>It is most successful when the benefits run both ways. </li></ul>
  19. 20. Rule 4: Science diplomacy is not the relationship, but the scaffolding for it.
  20. 21. Science Diplomacy Goals <ul><li>To relieve underlying factors and stresses leading to unproductive behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>To build a scaffolding for engagement. </li></ul><ul><li>To encourage movement toward productive behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>To prevent proliferation. Non-proliferation works better through engagement than containment. </li></ul>
  21. 22. Promotes American Values The values inherent in science include honesty, doubt, respect for evidence, transparency and openness, meritocracy , accountability and tolerance and indeed hunger for opposing points of view.
  22. 23. Rule 5: Development is how we will meet our shared challenges
  23. 24. Challenges for Development <ul><li>Need much more progress along the Millennium Development Goals </li></ul><ul><li>The world of development has changed. Many more actors. How can we take advantage of this. </li></ul><ul><li>There is an increasing danger to ungoverned spaces, and a lack of development. </li></ul><ul><li>Have development been effective? Are there better models? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the next green or blue revolution? </li></ul>
  24. 25. Grand Challenges in Development <ul><li>We must turn Challenges into Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>How to sustainably provide power to deep rural communities in the developing world; </li></ul><ul><li>How to make education available anytime, anywhere for anyone; </li></ul><ul><li>How to better manage and coordinate responses to humanitarian crises and conflicts; </li></ul><ul><li>How to create resilience to environmental change and variability in staple grain crops; </li></ul><ul><li>How to provide high-quality, affordable primary health care in rural communities </li></ul><ul><li>How to allow people in the developing world monitor and evaluate development efforts </li></ul>
  25. 26. Open Innovation <ul><li>How do we bring new solvers into development? How do we find new technological solutions that may exist in other fields. </li></ul><ul><li>We will uses prizes and constraints to bring new solvers and new solutions to bear on key constraints of development challenges. </li></ul><ul><li>We must find innovations wherever they occur, within USAID, within developing countries, and within the global scientific community. </li></ul>
  26. 27. Capacity and Indigenous Innovation <ul><li>Our new approach must help developing countries build their own STI capacity to solve development problems. We must ultimately harness the power of all members of the global community to address common challenges that we face abroad and at home. Frequently, the solutions can not be achieved by any single country. </li></ul><ul><li>This means reinvesting in higher education capacity and technical training. </li></ul><ul><li>In this sense, we move from a handful of global development agencies to 6.7 billion development agents. </li></ul>