What is SPIDER?
The Science Policy in Diplomacy and External Relations (SPIDER) network is a Special Interest Division of the INGSA network that focuses on the role science can play in fostering collaboration between nations, for the advancement of society. The network is open to anyone with an interest in the practice, theory or discussion of Science Diplomacy. It will convene meetings, facilitate projects, provide expert analysis and promote opportunities to members within the SID.
By bringing together individuals and organisations working in Science Diplomacy from around the world, SPIDER will help drive, shape and develop the global discussion around the roles, opportunities and risks of using science as a diplomatic tool.
It will utilise the capacity of the SPIDER network to will produce novel research that guides best practice, as well as provide a network of practitioners to share skills, experiences and to build beneficial relationships.
In part, SPIDER will operate as an external think-do-tank for FMSTAN, the Foreign Ministries Science & Technology Advice Network by convening scientists and experts on topics at the interface of science, diplomacy and international relations. As such, SPIDER provides a structure that allows will allow for greater communication and transmission of ideas directly to foreign ministry representatives, amplifying the impact of the network.
The creation of the network was announced in November 2018 at the INGSA2018 conference, and SPIDER hosted its inaugural meeting in Oman in early Feb 2019 as part of the Ocean Economy and Future Technology conference organised by the International Forum on Science and Technology Diplomacy (IFSTD).
Sign up to SPIDER below and see the SPIDER Meetings page for more info on upcoming events.
What is Science Diplomacy?
Science and Technology underpin nearly every aspect of modern life. As such, there is greater emphasis on incorporating the process and findings of science and technology into policies ranging from local to global. Diplomacy and diplomats are part of this important stakeholder community and the growing number of topics that bridge science, technology, and foreign affairs are part of a growing trend in foreign policy.
Over the last decade, Science Diplomacy has increasingly been a tool to develop bilateral and multilateral relationships integrating the communities of scientists and diplomats in a multi-actor effort in which diplomats, scientists and science managers, as well as other non-state actors, are contributing.
This applies at the local, regional, national and international level. Informing foreign policy using science is key not only to advancing national interests but also to tackle shared global challenges such as climate change, protecting the global commons, or achieving the SDGs.
What are the goals of SPIDER?
SPIDER recognises the vital and growing role of Science Diplomacy and addresses the importance of science policy in diplomacy and external relations to foster collaboration across the world with, and for, society. To fulfil its missions, SPIDER aims to:
- Engage diverse stakeholders and society: Build, strengthen, and maintain a community of diverse stakeholders in science, technology, policy, and international relations who contribute to and benefit from science diplomacy.
- Empower scientists and diplomats: Promote networking and capacity among scientists and international affairs professionals around the world to be future leaders at the intersection of science and diplomacy and develop educational tools, training, and resources.
- Build Dialogue and Mediation: Demonstrate and highlight the potential for science to help build relationships across disciplines, sectors, and borders and impact diplomatic efforts in a complex world.
Join SPIDER now!
To join the SPIDER network simply sign up at https://www.ingsa.org/join/ and register for any of the Special Interest Divisions that are of interest.
Even if you are already a member of the INGSA network, so long as you sign up again using the same email address then this will only update your preferences and will not result in duplicate emails.
For full information on SPIDER's future and past meetings (including resources) see the SPIDER Meeting page
Other Global Resources:
Around the world, there is increasing interest, research, and action in Science Diplomacy. SPIDER works to bring together this global network of activity. Below are some of the key organisations working on developing the interface between science, society and international relations.
- www.science-diplomacy.eu/ - The EU is investing heavily in the understanding and realisation of science diplomacy, with the establishment of a SD Research Cluster combining the work of three agencies: EL-CSID, InsSciDE, S4D4C.
- www.aaas.org/programs/center-science-diplomacy - One of the pioneer centres of Science Diplomacy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
- www.sciencediplomacy.org/ - The long-running and preeminent academic journal on Science in Diplomacy - Printed by AAAS.
- sites.tufts.edu/sciencediplomacy/ - Leading centre on the research and operationalisation of SD.
- www.scitechdiplohub.org/ - Supporting Barcelona's work to be the first city in the world to implement a science and technology diplomacy strategy.