There is power in science! Christian Gerl, master student of Peace and Security Studies at IFSH, participated at the first-ever “Warsaw Science Diplomacy School” in June 2020. IFSH nominated Christian Gerl for his participation, he represented the German-speaking area as one of only two attendees. The virtual event was organized by the European Academy of Diplomacy, based in Warsaw, and via the EU-funded project Inventing a shared Science Diplomacy for Europe” (InsSciDE). It gathered 28 participants from 26 countries on six continents with diverse backgrounds. There were scientists in research and consultancy positions, governmental research coordinators and diplomats of various areas.
Through thematic presentations and the group work in four case studies, the international participants learnt about the principles of science diplomacy and its historical, present, and potential future relevance for Europe. The topics were:
- Scientists in Diplomacy: the example of Barbosa du Bocage during the Scramble for Africa
- Public goods for global health: the case of Biodiversity negotiations
- Global Epidemic Diplomacy: dealing with the Plague in Oporto 1899-1900
- Science and Diplomacy: the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as a co-production
At the end, the participants truly felt being part of an emerging network of science diplomats all over the world. The group considers founding an alumni association to find further ways of cooperation and for organizing on- and offline meetings throughout the year. As final bonus, each participant was assigned a senior expert within science diplomacy. Christian Gerl soon has the chance to exchange with the former director of Arctic Frontiers, an organization which provides a forum for dialogue and communication between science, government, and industry in the Arctic (https://www.arcticfrontiers.com/ ).