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Science diplomacy, diversity and the Global South - InsSciDE Open Conference Lisbon

22-24 March 2022 | Lisbon Academy of Sciences

InsSciDE’s third open conference, to be hosted 22-24 March in Lisbon, places the focus on the "Global South" and explores a set of crucial themes in Europe’s scientific relationships to this loosely bound group of regions.

Employing InsSciDE’s signature historical approach, the fully live-streamed event will critically examine the circumstances around Global North-Global South architecture and the role that science diplomacy plays in both past and future cooperative (or competitive) endeavors.

On Friday 25 March there will be internal meetings for project members and invited guests.

Read the full concept note here!

European history, including both clashes among European powers and colonialism and imperialism, plays an inseparable role in the Global North-Global South architecture and Europe should aim at playing a more active role in reshaping international relations according to current understandings of equity, global challenges and development issues. Science diplomacy is particularly well placed to assume the role of mediator.

The Lisbon Open Conference proposes to address different, sometime conflictual, perspectives on how a new vision and practice of science diplomacy may be critical to bridging the Global North and the Global South interests and contribute to finding common, albeit diverse, solutions.

The majority of the sessions will be accessible online - details to be confirmed.

Tuesday 22 March

International Action of Academies: Between Cooperation, Networking and Science Diplomacy (18th-21st centuries)
A study day focused on the role of academies as science diplomacy organizations will precede the main part of the conference. The European Network of Academies, guest lecturers and selected papers received via an open call (now closed) will engage to chart and examine Academies’ international action in the present and as far back at the 18th century.

Wednesday 23 March

The Open Conference brings together different stakeholders to discuss the entanglements between science diplomacy and four topics that InsSciDE deems central to future action:

Open Science
Open science is now a policy priority for the European Commission, and in November 2021, UNESCO adopted the first international standard setting instrument on open science, the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. How will this paradigm-change in the practice of science affect international scientific relations? How might open science constitute a key practice for a more balanced and confident relationship between Global North and Global South?

The Anthropocene
The concept of Anthropocene (as the current geological age, during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment) gained relevance particularly for its association with environmental problems. The event will explore how science diplomacy may be a tool to open up the much-needed dialogue between the North and the South on critical topics such as “sustainability”, “decarbonization” or “green New Deal”.

Technoscience and innovation diplomacy
At the intersection of technoscientific diplomacy and economic diplomacy, innovation diplomacy is becoming increasingly important to bridge the Global North-Global South divide. The section will consider whether innovation diplomacy may be a new and more suitable form of collaboration (or competition) in a knowledge-based globalized economy, and how this may (or may not) entail a reconsideration of the meaning of innovation.

New actors and a new definition of science diplomacy
Beyond formal science diplomacy, which informal channels are available to allow civil society (for instance via Citizen Science programs), NGOs, minorities, and under-represented groups to engage in building different science diplomacy narratives? And how will these “alternative” narratives reshape and relocate the definition of science diplomacy?

Thursday 24 March

InsSciDE Case Studies and Practitioners
This session places focus on in-person debate and will have limited accessibility online (TBC)
The spotlight sets on a selected set of InsSciDE’s historical case studies from the forthcoming book of Harmonized Case Studies. In this highly dynamic session, case study authors, invited experts and public attendees will engage in dissecting cases’ crosscutting themes of sociotechnical imaginaries, diplomatic objects, Big Science, intra-European rivalries and more. Practitioners’ voices are particularly desired in the debates to help test and enhance the cases’ relevance to present and future science diplomacy practice and teaching. Sign up your interestto stay informed.

  • Free and open to the public! In-person attendees cover their own costs for travel and stay.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday are accessible online, Thursday online access will be limited (TBC).
  • Online and in-person attendees must register to join. Registration link coming soon. Meanwhile, sign up your interest.
  • Covid-19 measures:
    The organization will ensure all appropriate measures are in place for a safe conference. Proof of vaccination will be required to attend. Please make sure you are familiar with Portugal’s Covid-19 restrictions for travelling. We anticipate that the EU vaccination pass will be sufficient to travel to Portugal and attend the conference, but continue to monitor the government’s guidelines regarding testing and other restrictions.


Tuesday (22 March)
Lisbon Academy of Sciences, located downtown Lisbon
Rua Academia das Ciências 19

Wednesday, Thursday (23-24) March
Rectorship of the NOVA University of Lisbon, located at the Campus de Campolide.
It is easily reached by underground (stations Parque or Praça de Espanha).

Questions? Contact Daniella Palmberg at d.palmberg@unesco.org

Science Diplomacy, Diversity and the Global South
InsSciDE Open Conference in Lisbon
22-24 March 2022

Lead organizers: Maria Paula Diogo, Pascal Griset

Sign up your interest to get notified when the official event registration opens.