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Abstract

Scientists who work with international colleagues in their own country or outside its boundaries are, ultimately, practicing science diplomats. This chapter will explore the definition of science diplomacy and its functions, describe the types of individuals that practice science diplomacy, suggest potential resources and list potential challenges, discuss the key role of diaspora in science diplomacy, and outline best practices. It will also describe the global organizations that specifically promote geoscience engagement, such as the international unions for the geosciences, and others working on Earth system science issues, including both academic programs and global bodies such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and UNESCO. From this point of view, it will describe the roles and activities of the US National Committees for the international geoscience unions hosted by the US National Academy of Sciences and will present case studies of geoscience diplomacy excellence, such as the US Geological Survey-Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance’s Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP). Though this discussion will be done largely from the US perspective, the underlying concepts should be applicable around the world. The issues of global climate change and natural hazard risk communication in many instances involve interactions across cultures and across boundaries. An understanding of the diplomacy element in those interactions, and the integration of those approaches in the planning and establishment of those programs will increase their likelihood of success.

Keywords

Science diplomacy Diplomat Geosciences International scientific collaboration International Scientific Unions US National Committees Capacity building Volcano Disaster Assistance Program 

Notes

Acknowledgment

The author wishes to thank Melody Brown Burkins (Dartmouth College), Thomas Casadevall (USGS, Emeritus), and Farouk El-Baz (Boston University) for their very helpful comments and suggestions. Additionally, the author dedicates this work to the memory of her friend, colleague, and mentor Louis B. Brown.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Board on International Scientific OrganizationsThe National Academy of SciencesWashington, DCUSA

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