There’s a big science advice conference on the horizon for August 28 – 29, 2014 to be held in New Zealand according to David Bruggeman’s March 19, 2014 posting on his Pasco Phronesis blog (Note: Links have been removed),
… It [the global science advice conference] will take place in Auckland, New Zealand August 28 and 29 . It will be hosted by the New Zealand Chief Science Adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman.
(If you’re not following Sir Peter’s work and writings on science advice and science policy, you’re missing out.)
The announced panelists and speakers include chief scientists and/or chief science advisers from several countries and the European Union. It’s a very impressive roster. The conference is organised around five challenges:
- The process and systems for procuring evidence and developing/delivering scientific advice for government
- Science advice in dealing with crisis
- Science advice in the context of opposing political/ideological positions
- Developing an approach to international science advice
- The modalities of science advice: accumulated wisdom
The 2014 Science Advice to Governments; a global conference for leading practitioners is being organized by the International Council for Science. Here’s a list of the confirmed speakers and panellists (Note: Links have been removed),
We are delighted that the following distinguished scientists have confirmed their participation in the formal programme:
Prof. Shaukat Abdulrazak, CEO National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation, Kenya
Dr. Ian Boyd, Chief Science Advisor, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) UK
Dr. Phil Campbell, Editor-in-Chief, Nature
Dr. Raja Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet, India
Prof. Ian Chubb, Chief Scientist for Australia
Prof. Brian Collins, University College London’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (UCL STEaPP)
Dr. Lourdes J Cruz, President of the National Research Council of the Philippines and National Scientist
Prof. Heather Douglas, Chair in Science & Society, Balsillie School of International Affairs, U. of Waterloo Canada
Prof. Mark Ferguson, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, and Director General, Science Foundation Ireland
Prof. Anne Glover, Chief Science Adviser to the President of the European Commission
Sir Peter Gluckman, Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, New Zealand
Dr. Jörg Hacker, President of the German Academy of Sciences – Leopoldina; Member of UN Secretary General’s Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Yuko Harayama, Executive member of Council for Science and Technology Policy, Cabinet Office of Japan; Member of UN Secretary General’s Scientific Advisory Board; former Deputy Director OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry
Prof. Andreas Hensel, President of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Germany
Prof. Gordon McBean, President-elect, International Council for Science (ICSU)
Prof. Romain Murenzi, Executive Director of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS)
Dr. Mary Okane, Chief Scientist and Engineer, New South Wales Australia
Prof. Remi Quirion, Chief Scientist, Province of Quebec, Canada
Chancellor Emeritus Kari Raivio, Council of Finnish Academies, Finland
Prof. Nils Chr. Stenseth, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and President of the International Biological Union (IUBS)
Dr. Chris Tyler, Director of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) in UK
Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of the UK
Dr. James Wilsdon, Professor of Science and Democracy, University of Sussex, UK
Dr. Steven Wilson, Executive Director, International Council for Science (ICSU)
Dr. Hamid Zakri, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia; Member of UN Secretary General’s Scientific Advisory Board
I noticed a couple of Canadian representatives (Heather Douglas, Chair in Science & Society at the University of Waterloo, and Remi Quirion, Chief Scientist, province of Québec) on the list. We don’t have any science advisors for the Canadian federal government but it seems they’ve instituted some such position for the province of Québec. In lieu of a science advisor, there is the Council of Canadian Academies, which “is an independent, not-for-profit organization that supports independent, authoritative, and evidence-based expert assessments that inform public policy development in Canada” (from their About page).
One other person should be noted (within the Canadian context), James Wilsdon is a member of the Expert Panel for the Council of Canadian Academies’ still-in-progress assessment, The State of State of Canada’s Science Culture. (My Feb. 22, 2013 posting about the assessments provides a lengthy discourse about the assessment and my concerns about both it and the panel.)
Getting back to this meeting in New Zealand, the organizers have added a pre-conference symposium on science diplomacy (from the Science and Diplomacy webpage), Note: A link has been removed,
We are pleased to announce the addition of a pre-conference symposium to our programme of events. Co-chaired by Dr. Vaughan Turekian, Editor-in-Chief of the AAAS Journal Science and Diplomacy, and the CE of New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, this symposium will explore ‘the place of science in foreign ministries’.
Overview of the symposium
The past decade has seen unprecedented interested in the interface between science and diplomacy from a number of perspectives including:
- Diplomacy for Science – building international relationships to foster robust collaborative scientific networks and shared expertise and infrastructure;
- Science for Diplomacy – the science enterprise as a doorway to relationship building between nations with shared goals and values;
- Science in Diplomacy – the role of science in various diplomatic endeavours (e.g.: verification of agreements on climate change, nuclear treaties etc; in support of aid projects; in promoting economic and trade relationships; and in various international agreements and instruments such as phyto-sanitary regulations, free trade agreements, biodiversity agreements etc.).
Yet, despite the growing interest in this intersection, there has been little discussion of the practical realities of fostering the rapprochement between two very distinct professional cultures and practices, particularly with specific reference to the classical pillars of foreign policy: diplomacy; trade/economic; and aid. Thus, this pre-conference symposium will be focusing on the essential question:
How should scientists have input into the operation of foreign ministries and in particular into three pillars of foreign affairs (diplomacy, trade/economics and foreign aid)?
The discussion will focus on questions such as: What are the mechanisms and methods that can bring scientists and policy makers in science and technology in closer alignment with ministries or departments of foreign affairs and vice versa? What is the role of public scientists in assisting countries’ foreign policy positions and how can this be optimised? What are the challenges and opportunities in enhancing the role of science in international affairs? How does the perception of science in diplomacy vary between large and small countries and between developed and developing countries?
To ensure vibrant discussion the workshop will be limited to 70 participants. Anyone interested is invited to write to [email protected] with a request to be considered for this event.
The conference with this newly added symposium looks to be even more interesting than before. As for anyone wishing to attend the science diplomacy symposium, the notice has been up since March 6, 2014 so you may wish to get your request sent off while there’s still space (I assume they’ll put a notice on the webpage once the spaces are spoken for). One final observation, it’s surprising in a science conference of this size that there’s no representation from a US institution (e.g., the National Academy of Sciences, Harvard University, etc.) other than the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) organizer of the pre-conference symposium.