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Giving focus to the Cultural, Scientific and Social Dimension of EU - CELAC relations

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Science Diplomacy Workshop

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The Science Diplomacy Workshop was held at the Samsung Room of the C3, located at Godoy Cruz 2270, in the City of Buenos Aires. It started at 9.00 a.m. and ended at 3.00 p.m. There were 10 speakers and over 50 attendees.

The purpose was to promote the discussion around the science diplomacy concept for future diplomats, so as to encourage the debate and build a national science diplomacy approach.

The workshop was opened by Dr Lino Barañao (Secretariat of Government for Science, Technology and Innovation), Ambassador Aude Maio-Coliche (European Union Delegation in Argentina) and Ambassador Fernando Petrella (Director of the National Foreign Service Institute).

The second session featured expositions by Minister Mariano Jordán, National Directorate for Cooperation and Institutional Integration, who summarized the development of science diplomacy in Argentina, and Dr Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation of the Directorate General for Research and Development at the European Commission, who presented the Union’s general view of science diplomacy.

Next session was led by Dr Alejandra Kern, who presented theoretical contributions to science diplomacy, their respective advances and criticism from the academia.

To see the previously described concepts in action, science diplomacy practical examples were given. In this context, Secretary Guillermo Simunovich, head of the Science and Technology area of the Argentine Embassy before the European Union, and Lic. Agustina Velo, Project Officer at the Liaison Office Argentina-European Union, presented the role of representative offices abroad and their relationship with this Secretariat of Government, particularly as regards cooperation with the European Union. Both highlighted the policy dialogues through which the cooperation with the EU is organized and provided concrete examples of those dialogues. Particularly in the bi-regional dialogue, the role currently played by the H2020-funded EULAC Focus project was highlighted, to strengthen those areas and enable synergies with on-going European initiatives.

Maurizio Bona, representative from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN for its French acronym) used several examples to show the various initiatives in science diplomacy of his institution.

Ms Elke Dall, the Austrian representative from the Social Innovation Centre (ZSI for its German acronym) and Coordinator of the S4D4C Initiative (Using Science for/in diplomacy for addressing global challenges) highlighted in her presentation some of the project results, particularly the survey among diplomats and scientists that generated a “needs report” and training activities. In principle, the preliminary results of the case studies could be shared, particularly those that show asymmetric awareness of research topics driven by foreign policy (such as the S4D4C food safety case study) and the international organization that supports open science and open access policies as a European priority (such as the S4D4C open science diplomacy case study). Ms Dall also presented the analytical progress at bi-regional level of EULAC Focus, an initiative that analyses bi-regional cooperation between Latin American and the Caribbean through 3 (social, cultural and scientific) dimensions to prepare an action plan to renew those relations and a proposal with new activities.

The last speaker of the morning was Dr Roberto Bouzas, who presented the scientific perspective of Argentine cooperation with the European Union and detailed how scientific cooperation works under the funding and framework programmes available to countries outside the Union.

During the afternoon workshop attendees participated in a debate to share different points of view on theoretical and practical dimensions of the science diplomacy concept.

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