Training Workshop on Science Diplomacy for the Italo-Latin American Institute

Training Workshop on Science Diplomacy for the Italo-Latin American Institute16 November 2018, Rome, Italy - The two-day workshop, which took place on 06-07 November 2018, was an opportunity for members of the Italo-Latin American Institute (IILA) to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of Science Diplomacy.

Science Diplomacy is relatively a new subject, particularly for the IILA representatives, and participants attending this workshop had limited knowledge in this field. Thus, realizing the potential benefits and challenges of Science Diplomacy, IILA together with UNITAR brought the Italo-Latin American diplomatic community under one roof to deepen their understanding of the theoretical and historical dimensions of scientific cooperation and the existing differences in relation to science diplomacy.

The first day of the training was delivered by Dr. Peter McGrath, The, the coordinator of the Science and Diplomacy Initiative at the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), and by Mr. Giacomo Destro, Project Manager at the Masters’ Course in Science Communication (MCS) at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA). The second day of the workshop was delivered by Dr. Maurizio Bona, Senior Advisor to European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

Participants spent their first day exploring the meanings of scientific cooperation in the 21st century, the three pillars related to Science Diplomacy and how science flows in the international arena. Moreover, Dr. McGrath and Mr. Destro explained thoroughly The Sistema Trieste as a tool for the Italian Science Diplomacy. The second day of training began with a role play simulation of a multilateral negotiation on the issue of Solar Radiation Management, as an example of a scientific project. Participants were divided into various groups and were delegated as experts (from; US Gov, ECOWAS, EU, WMO, Scientists etc), and tasked with reaching an agreement regarding the project’s implementation. Lastly, during the debriefing phase of the exercise, they were confronted with challenging questions and problems which were raised during the training.

In the afternoon, Dr. Bona gave a brief introduction to CERN. He continued explaining the CERN model and its contribution to the intercultural dialogue and peace, as well as CERN’s status of Observer in the UNGA and its relations with the parliamentary world. He concluded by discussing how to bridge the gap between Science and Diplomacy.

This workshop helped participants to familiarize themselves with good practices and examples of science diplomacy projects. The participants were satisfied with their experience, as 90% of them felt that they met the course objectives and all of them agreeing that their awareness about the subject has increased. Benefits from the briefing were confirmed by post-training self-evaluations.

Photo: Participants of the workshop with Dr. Bona.