Home > ABOUT > About us

About us

InsSciDE – Inventing a shared Science Diplomacy for Europe – is a first-ever interdisciplinary consortium and stakeholder engagement structure focusing on Europeans and on European science diplomacy. Funded under the Horizon 2020 framework, it engages historians of science and technology, networks of diplomats and scientists, experts of strategy and policy makers to bring science diplomacy into the foreground and better use it.


InsSciDE devises a process through which new knowledge on past and present science diplomacy in Europe fuels the elaboration of tools for practitioners, the EU and Member States.

Domestic and transnational initiatives have long used science in global diplomatic engagements, in a diversity of ways and contexts. But this practice is fragmented, unrecognized, or lacking an overall model for leveraging and consolidation. InsSciDE aims to reveal, formalize and communicate this intangible capital, develop its conceptual bases and elaborate tools to help European science diplomacy emerge and blossom. From first questions to final tools and training, we lead this process from inside science diplomacy – hand in hand with its practitioners, potential practitioners, and other stakeholders. Those who deploy, direct and benefit from science diplomacy are co-inventors, end-users, and ambassadors for the project, accompanied by a research consortium associating academic excellence and tested competence in stakeholder engagement. Interactive seminars and summer schools provide a dozen opportunities over the course of four years (2018-2021) to network, reflect, and participate in creating a shared science diplomacy for Europe.

The project consortium is made up of 14 respected research and training institutes from 11 countries spanning Europe, plus the international UNESCO; by explicit interest and support from European Academies of Science and from existing networks of diplomatic Attachés and Counselors for science, technology and innovation; and by the commitment of a high-level, diverse international Advisory Board including a Swiss, a US and a Russian member.


The project centers on five objectives:

  1. Reveal and connect multiple European experiences, showing how and why science and diplomacy have been combined and coordinated (or not) by Europe and by Member States when addressing global challenges.
  2. Map this knowledge into theoretical and strategic frameworks.
  3. Generate guidance for policy reflection and action choices at both EU and Member State levels: strategy, best practices for science diplomats, awareness and training activities for stakeholders.
  4. Foster dialogue, competence-building, self-reflexivity, networks, and inter-professional linkages among practitioners and other stakeholders.
  5. Disseminate the learning to a wide audience and sustain its continuing use.

Themes and Work Packages

The InsSciDE project investigates science diplomacy under five broad themes (Heritage, Health, Security, Environment and Space) and via two transversal networks (Power with Science Diplomacy and Science Diplomats). The themes are explored in work packages composed of subject-matter experts and researchers from across Europe.

The thematic work packages are supported by additional work packages, led by the esteemed institutions the European Academy of Diplomacy (WP1), UNESCO (WP9) and CNRS (WP10).

WP1. Engagement and Interface WP2. Power with Science Diplomacy WP3. Science Diplomats
WP4. Heritage WP5. Health WP6. Security
WP7. Environment WP8. Space WP9. Communication, Impact, and Project Legacy

InsSciDE Case Studies

Over the course of four years, the InsSciDE project develops a library of case studies on its five targeted thematic areas (Heritage, Health, Security, Environment and Space) as well as on its transversal research strand ’Science Diplomats’. The case studies draw on extensive field and desk research and on interviews and archives, and are carried out in direct contact with practitioners.

Through multidisciplinary and integrative research, the case studies cast new light on Europe’s science diplomacy experience, and feed into the development of a new theory-based strategic framework for a shared European Science Diplomacy, and inform guidance documents and best practice reviews for policy- and decision-makers.


The European Commission developed the original call for proposals with the expectation of impacting the foreign policies of the EU and its member states and providing enhanced coordination between them, and between the EU and its international partners. InsSciDE expects to contribute through placing a "shared Science Diplomacy for Europe" on the research and debate agenda - clarifying assumptions, and identifying science diplomacy practitioners’ values and goals. Participative events build competence and capacity while revealing best practices. The story of former successes or failures of science diplomacy, viewed through historical, theoretical and strategic lenses, can provide a basis for informed policy.

The Commission with its call seeks in-depth insights into the multiple ties and mutual influences between Europe and its neighbours, former colonies and other countries and regions, especially in the scientific sphere. InsSciDE replies by developing a history of political dimensions of Europe-world connections and mutual influence in the scientific sphere. Stock is taken collectively of Europe’s exceptionally rich capital of experience in engaging globally through science and diplomacy interactions.

According to the call, funded research should together lead to a sound understanding of contemporary European societies, of the multiple sources and expressions of diversity in the EU and of how non-European influences impact on the formation of European identities. Acknowledging the multiple sources of today’s European diversity is viewed as having strong policy implications, not just for scientific and cultural policy, but also for immigration, integration, education and external policies. Such acknowledgement will also facilitate Europe’s future engagement with third countries. InsSciDE can offer, through its WP4, tightened links with scientific and state actors in Iraq and Syria. The full ensemble of InsSciDE intellectual products can contribute to the global attraction of European knowledge and skills transfer.