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New report: S&T diplomacy for the 21st centruy

Diplomacy for the 21st Century:  Embedding a Culture of Science and Technology Throughout the Department of State (2015)

450“This report recommends steps that the department should embrace in order to carry out its mission more effectively by taking full advantage of the leading science and technology (S&T) capabilities of the United States. These capabilities provide the department with many opportunities to promote a variety of the interests of the United States and its allies in a rapidly changing world wherein S&T are important drivers of economic development at home and abroad and help ensure international security. Too often they are not given the weight that they deserve by the global community, or even by the department; and at times they are misused by others in ways that are inimical to the interests of the United States and the global community.

Advancements and spread of S&T capabilities are heightening aspirations of societies throughout the world at an unprecedented pace. International connectivity and expanding transportation capabilities are revamping the way of doing business almost everywhere. The biological revolution is providing new opportunities for combatting diseases, improving agricultural productivity, and protecting essential ecological resources. Expanding geoscience capabilities are contributing to the resiliency of population centers to withstand the shocks of tsunamis, earthquakes, and floods. However, unrestrained industrialization and vehicular transportation are smothering urban environments, changing climate patterns, and redirecting ocean currents. Military technologies pose their own challenges, as rocket capabilities spread and the overhanging cloud of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remains ever-present.

International cooperation in S&T is rapidly becoming an important element of foreign policies of nations throughout the world. The department is a critical focal point for bringing to bear on an ever-growing array of global challenges technical contributions from organizations across the United States (a whole-of-society approach). Leadership by the department is essential as like-minded governments also seek innovative approaches to promote economic growth, exercise restraint in reconfiguring the landscape created by nature, and band together in countering cyber-crime and preventing other types of hostile acts that disrupt daily life.”

Click here to read more from this June 2015 report from the National Academies Press.

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