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InsSciDE Webinars: Actors of SD & Covid-19 Response Efforts

The InsSciDE project has undertaken the mission of assembling a panoramic account of Covid-19 response efforts through testimonies and analyses from actors across sectors of society. The webinar series, titled ’Actors’ perspectives: Science diplomacy and the cross-sectoral impacts of Covid-19’, consists of four panels hosted 24-25 September 2020.

Discussions will deliver insight into how individuals and institutions belonging to communities of research, business, government or diplomacy took action against the pandemic and its consequences in unison, isolation or opposition from each other.

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As countries balance different levels of tentative success or alarming resurgence of cases, we consider the role of science diplomacy in the Covid-19 pandemic and the world that comes after it.

Each panel will build conversations around a distinct aspect of the pandemic in relation to science diplomacy. The first panel will provide an analytical overview of the state and understanding of science diplomacy today from leading experts of the field. The second panel will consider the role of businesses in meeting supply and demand of a public health crisis. The third panel convenes members of the research community behind influential initiatives who will share their stories of achieving (international) impact and managing cross-border collaborations. And finally, the fourth panel will provide a platform for global health experts in different world regions to impart their observations, advise and expectations of health diplomacy as a tool in a pandemic.

Program (all times in CEST):

Thursday 24 September 2020

Introduction 12.45 | Opening address by Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation for Research and Innovation at the European Commission.

Panel 1: 13-14.30h | Forum on Science Diplomacy
InsSciDE’s Pierre-Bruno Ruffini recently orchestrated a Forum on Science Diplomacy with several leading voices of the field, published in the latest issue of the The Hague Journal of Diplomacy. The authors involved in the Forum will convene in this panel to debate the spectrum of science diplomacy analyses, critiques and prospects presented in each of their published works. Panellists will discuss the variety in existing practises and expectations of science diplomats’ roles, take a dispassionate look at collaboration and competition in SD, and submit the concept to essential criticisms in an academic debate and examination of its policy implications.

Read the panelists Forum publications here (all open access 21-27 Sept!):

Introduction to the Forum on Science Diplomacy
By: Pierre-Bruno Ruffini (panel organizer)
The Sensationalist Discourse of Science Diplomacy: A Critical Reflection
By: Tim Flink (open access)
Collaboration and Competition: The Twofold Logic of Science Diplomacy
By: Pierre-Bruno Ruffini
Innovation Diplomacy: A New Concept for Ancient Practices?
By: Pascal Griset (InsSciDE Coordinator)
Science Diplomacy and Soviet-American Academic and Technical Exchanges
By: Olga Krasnyak
What Is a Science Diplomat?
By: Lorenzo Melchor
Preparing Scientists for Science Diplomacy Requires New Science Policy Bridges
By: Meredith L. Gore, Elizabeth S. Nichols, and Karen R. Lips (open access)
Science Diplomacy and Its Engine of Informed Decisionmaking: Operating through Our Global Pandemic with Humanity
By: Paul Arthur Berkman

Panel 2: 15-16.30 | Economic diplomacy meets technoscientific diplomacy: Health, pharmacology and international business
How have the fields of science and technology diplomacy intersected with economic and commercial diplomacy? National and diplomatic officials discuss the considerations around the investments into and allocation of resources, from screening tests and tracing technology to the international competition arising in the race for a vaccine.

Friday 25 September 2020

Panel 3: 9-10.30 | Researchers and research institutes: Shaping and informing global action through diplomacy
Often independent of official government support, scientists spurred into action when the crisis hit, building open source data and information banks, fostering new interdisciplinary networks and collaborating across borders on Covid-19 research projects and innovations. But how did this positive international action and effective mobilization emerge with such speed and scale, and most importantly, how can we maintain momentum? The panel will ask researchers and scientists to share their experiences and lessons learned in achieving international reach from the ground up. Moderated by InsSciDE’s leader of our health diplomacy studies Katharina Paul, the discussion will illuminate how science diplomacy practices, in the speakers’ own experiences, may facilitate science-based solutions to global challenges such as a pandemic.

Panel 4: 11-12.30 | Institutional and territorial scales interlocking in health diplomacy
Convening speakers from supranational and national institutions - UNESCO, WHO, Africa CDC and Inserm (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research) - the conversation will broach the games of scale and legitimacy in the context of international interactions between the institutions in charge of managing the crisis.

Conclusion 12.30 | Closing address by InsSciDE Coordinator Prof Pascal Griset

In addition to nourishing the InsSciDE project’s analyses and recommendations, the webinars will serve to complement, and in some ways punctuate, the EU Research & Innovation Days, which end on the day our event begins.

Support for the event comes from The Hague Journal of Diplomacy and UNESCO, with the former leading the organization of the first panel.

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Image of social distancing circles by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Published 7 August 2020

Actors’ perspectives: Science diplomacy and the cross-sectoral impacts of Covid-19
Date: 24-25 September

EDIT: You can now watch recordings of the event here.