Science Diplomacy and COVID-19 - an international debate

8. Apr. 2020

S4D4C's perspective on the current crisis

The S4D4C project supports current and future European science diplomacy for the benefit of European capacities, EU foreign policy goals and especially the development of solutions for global challenges. It is funded under Horizon 2020, coordinated by ZSI and still runs until the end of 2020.

One of its goals is to "facilitate the effective and efficient interfaces for European science diplomacy to take better advantage of European science and science cooperation" (read more on all objectives HERE).

S4D4C and the COVID-19 pandemic

In the context of the current coronavirus crisis, the question how international scientific responses should be coordinated and which role the European Union with its research and innovation capacities should play in that coordination, has become more urgent than ever before.

Over the past few weeks, the topic has started to dominate international public debates as well (as can be seen in a multiple articles/opinion pieces published in Foreign Affairs, Project Syndicate, New York Times, CNN, NATURE) and by a lot of research-driven institutions (such as Carnegie, the OECD or the Intl. Science Council for instance).

S4D4C's approach to emphasise the benefits of international scientific cooperation and its critical stance in observing the actual use (not fully exploiting the potential benefits) of science diplomacy by national governments and on the supranational level alike has gained attention. This proves the global interest to find more concerted ways for jointly addressing a pandemic like this one (and any future one), with a solid scientific (that is evidence-based) backbone at its centre.

  • Within the project, we generated an ad-hoc task force sharing information about the science diplomacy aspects of COVID-19 and we discuss the potential to prepare one of the S4D4C policy briefs relating to Science Diplomacy with a specific focus on the coronavirus (will be available on the project website upon its launch).
  • You can find an "open lab notebook" entry prepared by Elke Dall (S4D4C coordinator, ZSI) reflecting the S4D4C actions and opinions in terms of COVID-19 and science diplomacy HERE (the blog post is continously updated based on further developments).
  • In two recent webinars, organised by SciTech DiploHub, the Barcelona Science and Technology Diplomacy Hub, S4D4C researchers (Lorenzo Melchor, FECYT and Ivo Slosarcik, Charles University) shared their expertise on how science diplomacy can be harnessed for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences related to it. You can find the two reviews about S4D4C in the SciTech DiploHub webinar series HERE and HERE.
  • An article published by FORBES (March 29) including a reference to the S4D4C researcher team can be found HERE.


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Tags: international cooperation, science diplomacy

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