At the Crossroads of Science and Foreign Policy: Conflict Resolution
AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship Science Diplomacy Affinity Group, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, Young Professionals in Energy, and Koshland Science Museum
Thursday, October 24, 2013 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (EDT)
Join members of the scientific and foreign policy communities for an evening of active discussion in the third event of the program series At the Crossroads of Science and Foreign Policy. Featured speakers will explore how science & technology (S&T) can be used as a tool to both incite and resolve conflicts. Following the speaker presentations, a structured audience discussion will challenge attendees to draw from their own experiences and knowledge to further explore conflict and conflict resolution as it relates to the larger scientific and foreign policy communities.
• Jonathan Margolis, PhD, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space & Health in the Bureau of Oceans, International Environment and Scientific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State
• Michele Gelfand, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park
• Andrew Robertson, PhD, Senior Program Officer with the Science, Technology and Peacebuilding Center of Innovation at the U.S. Institute of Peace
• Romesh Silva, PhD, Center for Civilians in Conflict
The power of science and technology to change society and the lives of people is well appreciated. Scientific questions with large societal impact can have direct consequences for foreign policy: projections of climate change, food insecurity, the race for the atomic bomb in the 1940s, and the reproductive health revolution caused by the contraceptive pill are examples. Science and technology can also be tools used to bring people together and resolve conflict: for example, when countries without formal diplomatic relations engage in scientific collaborations between their academic institutions, or when the international community endorses treaties that touch on scientific disciplines or outputs. Likewise, a greater understanding of the cultural motivations or sociological dynamics between conflicting parties can help identify mechanisms for reaching resolution. However, the role of science and technology as a force to fuel or defuse conflict is often not well understood by the foreign policy community, who tend to treat it as a means to an end; likewise, many scientists are unaware that their research may have broader implications internationally, for good or for ill.
The Conflict Resolution event will showcase examples in which science and technology have influenced conflicts within foreign policy and international relations, both positively and negatively. As a group, we will reflect on lessons learned from these examples, identify effective strategies and approaches for using science as a tool for conflict resolution, and consider future opportunities to enhance the role that science can play within this facet of foreign policy.
Light refreshments will be served.
At the Crossroads of Science and Foreign Policy is a program series co-sponsored by the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, and the Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences. Monthly events throughout fall 2013 will provide a forum for active discussion of emerging topics at the intersection of science and foreign policy.