Since this vocabulary began to circulate in the first years of the new millennium, science diplomacy has been describing the various practices that bridge science, technology and foreign affairs. It is both a set of tools available to nation states to exercise their diplomatic action, and a process to address major threats which challenge the world order and have a science-intensive nature. In line with the traditional state-centred approach to diplomacy, science diplomacy is driven by national interests and needs. But it aims also at solving global issues such as the preservation of the environment, of biodiversity and of human health — the last of which is exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. With its twofold rationale, being at the same time state centric and global governance oriented, science diplomacy is an instrument of choice for managing tensions between national interests and common interests.
05 Aug 2020