Science transcends borders. Science diplomacy builds upon the reputation, the networks and the entire repertoire of science to improve international relations. It can be an influential tool in building bridges between societies and developing common strategies to overcome global challenges. Moreover, it defends universal human rights and is actively involved in multilateral processes.
Science diplomacy is versatile. When official channels are restricted, it can restore trust and build credibility, whilst contributing to the consolidation of existing partnerships and a better mutual understanding in international relations. Science diplomacy enables constructive dialogue across national and cultural borders because it relies on the universal language of science and it is guided by academic values and standards. Science diplomacy also supports scientists all over the world who are subjected to repression and human rights violations. Another dimension consists in the use of scientific expertise to overcome global challenges and acute crises.
The Leopoldina is actively engaged in various forms of science diplomacy:
The Human Rights Committee of the Leopoldina (HRC) supports scientists all over the world who are subject to repression for no other reason than their scientific work. The Leopoldina is a member of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies (H.R. Network).
The Leopoldina coordinates the Joint Science Conference of the Western Balkans / Berlin Process since 2014. This platform brings together representatives of the national education, research and innovation systems from the 14 currently involved countries. It elaborates recommendations to the Heads of State and Government for the improvement of the education and science systems in connection with the accession of the Balkan countries to the EU. It also facilitates closer regional cooperation in South East Europe.
Leopoldina President Jörg Hacker represents the German Federal Government in the European Science Advisors Forum (ESAF), the forum of Chief Scientific Advisors of the EU Member States. He was appointed as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory Board (UNSAB) from 2014 to 2016. The 26 UNSAB members were scientists from all over the world advising the UN Secretary-General on global sustainable development.