Science and Diplomacy Session


Science and Diplomacy in Changing Climate Change

Session 8, Tuesday, 25 January at 3:45 PM

(Joint between the Presidential Sessions and the Seventh Symposium on US-International Partnerships)

As noted in numerous settings, any successful quest for sustainability will be a collective, uncertain, and adaptive endeavor in which society’s discovering of where it wants to go is intertwined with how it might get there. The National Academies noted some 20 years ago that advancing these goals in scientifically-sound and equitable ways requires using knowledge intelligently in setting a vision, establishing effective institutions, capturing and diffusing innovation, carefully examining alternatives and uncertainties, and encouraging effective decision-making. The increasing complexity from compounding and cascading impacts of climate-related are being exacerbated by globally-connected systemic risks involving health, water, food, and energy security and by emergent challenges such as migration, transboundary changes and national security, making the need for alignment and collaboration in the international space even more immediate.


Diplomacy is the main instrument of foreign policy and governance that represents the broader goals and strategies that guide a state's interactions with the rest of the world. Diplomacy has been characterized as the international relations and practice of guiding the decisions and conduct of governments or intergovernmental organisations through dialogue, negotiation, and other nonviolent means. This session will engage lessons from the approaches from climate, biodiversity, water, disaster risk reduction and the Sustainable Development Goals in general for guiding the layering and adaptability of international institutional arrangements, financing, information sharing and capacity.  


This session of 5 panelists will discuss challenges and solutions for science diplomacy that includes:???????

  • Promoting the role of scientific evidence for informing global policies and mutilateral mechanisms relevant to the AMS such as the SDGs, Paris, Sendai, Aichi 

  • Exploring and strengthening opportunities across public, private and civil society networks for engaging weather, water and climate science including data and information sharing and information services development and implementation

  • Informing policies in support of U.S. science, technology and innovations that contributes to and learns from international partnerships

  • Addressing the need to guide knowledge and just transitions for sustainability by strengthening and supporting a cadre of diverse professionals who will work on the science-diplomacy interface


  • William Colglazier   fmr Science and Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State, Dir. Policy and Global Affairs/ International Affairs of the NAS (framing science-diplomacy) 

  • Jonathan Pershing Department of State (climate)

  • Aaron Salzberg University of North Carolina (WMO Hydrology rep. and former lead diplomat for Water at the State Dept. 

  • Madeline Thompson Wellcome Trust (Health and international financing)

  • Katia Kontar USGCRP-International (building a career on the science-diplomacy space)