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Science Diplomacy

Science Diplomacy

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 of 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 is the utilization of scientific expertise to overcome global challenges and acute crises.

The Leopoldina is actively engaged in various forms of science diplomacy:

Human Rights Committee of the Leopoldina

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 (IHRN).

Western Balkans / Berlin Process

The Leopoldina has been coordinating the Joint Science Conference of the Western Balkans Process / Berlin Process since 2014. This platform assembles national representatives of education and science systems from 14 countries. It offers recommendations to the Heads of State and Government for the improvement of education and science systems in connection with the accession of the Balkan countries to the EU. It facilitates stronger regional cooperation in South Eastern Europe.

International advisory bodies

Leopoldina President Professor (ETHZ) Dr Gerald Haug represents the German Federal Government in the European Science Advisors Forum (ESAF), the forum of chief scientific advisors to the EU member states. Professor Dr Jörg Hacker, former President of the Leopoldina, was also an ad personam member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN Secretary-General (UNSAB) between 2014 and 2016. The UNSAB consisted of 26 scientists from around the world who advised the UN Secretary-General on sustainability issues with a global dimension.


„Science Diplomacy: Translating Science into International Affairs. The contribution of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina“ (PDF)

Marina Koch-Krumrei, Lucian Brujan with contributions from Ruth Narmann and Christian Weidlich, in: Deutsche Bunsen-Gesellschaft für physikalische Chemie e.V. (Hrsg.): Bunsen-Magazin 1/2022, Frankfurt, S. 17-19.



Dr. Ruth Narmann

Head of International Relations Department

Phone 030 - 241 8987 - 473
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 838
E-Mail ruth.narmann (at)leopoldina.org