What is Science Diplomacy

Science Diplomacy is an international, interdisciplinary and inclusive process involving informed-decision making to balance national interests and common interests for the benefit of all on Earth, across generations. 

A ‘Continuum of Urgencies’

The natural and social sciences along with Indigenous knowledge enable informed decisionmaking across a ‘continuum of urgencies’ that is necessary to address near-term to long-term issues that our global interconnected civilization is facing. This continuum of urgencies exists today, unlike any previous period in human history, from security time scales (responding to the risks of political, economic and cultural instabilities that are immediate) to sustainability time scales (balancing economic prosperity, societal well-being and environmental protection across generations).

Learning to balance national interests and common interests with respect to this continuum is a challenge that requires solutions (i.e. processes) that are scientifically informed, and iterative in response to changing circumstances on a planetary scale. This decision-support process is necessarily international, interdisciplinary, and inclusive.

Decision-support process

The decision-support process applied by the Science Diplomacy Center integrates time-space evidence from the natural and social sciences and indigenous knowledge regarding impacts, issues and resources that cross as well as extend beyond the boundaries of nations. This holistic integration further involves the necessary inclusion of a diversity of stakeholder perspectives as well as governance records, representing the operation of government institutions.

The decision-support process is designed to reveal options (without advocacy), which can be used or ignored explicitly, contributing to informed decision-making by nations individually and collectively.

Science Diplomacy and informed-decision making

The hierarchy of Science & Technology Advice integrates data into evidence in order to reveal options that contribute to informed decisions.

Pyramid of Informed Decisionmaking

The starting point to build common interests and generate options involves the development of questions. With generation of questions of common concern, appropriate methodologies can be identified using information and observations that are organized and analyzed as data.

Evidence, resulting from the integration of data and governance mechanisms, alerts decision makers to the need for action. Options subsequently frame the specifications for the decisions about governance mechanisms (including policy and regulatory devices) and built infrastructure (involving technology and capitalization), which are required together to achieve sustainability. As an apex goal, informed decisions derive from considering available options to balance economic prosperity, environmental protection and societal well-being across the continuum of urgencies.

Through its Education, Research and Leadership activities, the Science Diplomacy Center will educate the next generation of science diplomats, generate academic work in the field of science diplomacy and provide leadership in supporting & developing science diplomacy networks.