Use the future to build the present
Diplomacy for Big Science
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1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy
1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy

Sub-Field:

4.5.3Diplomacy for Big Science

The infrastructure for many modern scientific experiments is multinational in scale. For example, CERN, the European particle physics laboratory, is a collaboration between 23 member states with further links across the planet.11 Similar multinational science projects include the ITER fusion project, Eumetsat and COVAX.12 These projects require long-lasting engagement, on an international scale, between actors with detailed knowledge of the science and engineering challenges ahead. Also crucial is a good understanding of the potential outcomes from these projects, their significance and their impact on science, business and society.

Future collaborations of this sort will require individuals who are equally at home in the world of science and the world of diplomacy. The importance of these skills has been brought into sharp focus by the covid-19 crisis, which forged collaborations on unprecedented scales between a wide range of actors, creating new models of cooperation and rapid research and development. The development of highly effective vaccines in record time is a huge success. But there have also been failures of science diplomacy, such as vaccine nationalism and the inequitable distribution of medical equipment and treatments.

While the Covid crisis has highlighted the power of science and diplomacy to achieve collaboration on a global scale, it is likely that growing nationalism and trends towards strategic autonomy will challenge future large-scale science collaborations. This threatens to limit knowledge sharing, the free movement of people and ideas, and funding for international collaboration.

Future Horizons:

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5-yearhorizon

Science diplomacy curricula include tools for large-scale efforts

Training courses for science diplomacy highlight the skills necessary to operate in this space and in particular focus on the technical multilingualism needed to converse with actors in the scientific and diplomatic fields. The collaborations forged during the Covid crisis provide a template for a new generation of research and development projects with global relevance.

10-yearhorizon

Trained science diplomats are spread through relevant organisations

Graduates from science diplomacy-focused training courses, skilled in the languages of science and diplomacy, become increasingly influential actors in state and non-state organisations.

25-yearhorizon

Blocked projects increase awareness of challenges

Severe delays to several big science projects are finally resolved. These projects involve many state and non-state actors and depend on complex, multi-layered negotiations. The deadlock is broken thanks to key groups of experts with skills spanning diplomacy and science.

Diplomacy for Big Science - Anticipation Scores

How the experts see this field in terms of the expected time to maturity, transformational effect across science and industries, current state of awareness among stakeholders and its possible impact on people, society and the planet. See methodology for more information.

GESDA Best Reads and Key Resources