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Pierre-Bruno Ruffini is a Professor of Economics at the Faculty of International Affairs of the University of Le Havre (France). From 2000 to 2005, he served as the President of the University of Le Havre. He is a former Counselor for Science and Technology at the Embassy of France in Russia (2007-2010) and Italy (2010-2013).
Science and Diplomacy – Basic Concepts and Key Issues.
At the crossroads of knowledge production and of foreign affairs, science diplomacy refers to all practices in which actions of researchers and of diplomats interact. Such practices are directly or indirectly related to the interests of governments. One of the tasks of diplomats is to promote cooperation between scientists from different countries. In reverse, international scientific relations may facilitate the exercise of diplomacy, making science a substitute or a vanguard of diplomacy. In addition, scientific expertise helps governments and their diplomats to prepare and conduct international negotiations. Interest in science diplomacy is recent. It is not as such an academic subject, although its study draws much on two disciplinary fields: international relations, due to the emphasis put on foreign policy, and science studies, which seek to situate science in the broader context of society. The purpose of this lecture is to give an introduction to science diplomacy, by presenting and discussing the state of the art and the most significant practices on this emerging topic.