Science Diplomacy Course

The Fletcher School offers a Science Diplomacy course in the Spring. The class, “Science Diplomacy: Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean” is taught by Prof. Paul Arthur Berkman.

The course addresses “science diplomacy” as an emerging interdisciplinary field with global relevance to promote cooperation and prevent conflict among nations. The first formal dialogue between NATO and Russia about security issues in the Arctic Ocean will be used as a case study, team-taught by the two co-directors of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean at the University of Cambridge in 2010. The resulting book, which has over 40,000 downloads, will serve as the key text to address the elements of science diplomacy that apply across our civilization: (1) understanding of changes over time and space; (2) instruments for Earth system monitoring and assessment; (3) early warning systems; (4) catalysts of public-policy agendas; (5) features of international legal institutions; (6) sources of invention and commercial enterprise; (7) continuity across generations; (8) and global tool of diplomacy. Overall objective of this course is to consider the contributions of science diplomacy for building common interests among nations so that we can balance economic prosperity, environmental protection and societal well-being – in view of today’s urgencies and the needs of future generations – across our world.

In 2017, the class was co-taught by Professor Alexander N. Vylegzhanin (Head, International Law Programme MGIMO University, Russian Federation). The syllabus for the course can be downloaded as a pdf file here: Syllabus-Science-Diplomacy-Spring-2020.

In 2018, the joint-class became the first mandatory joint-class between The Fletcher School and MGIMO University.