This session was organized and moderated by Prof. Saleem Ali from the University of Delaware to consider: 

How might science diplomacy mitigate the new Cold War in the Arctic?

Given the current dynamics of the Russo-Ukranian war, there has been a hiatus in scientific cooperation between Russia and the West. Signature programs of cooperation such as the Beringian Science initiative and a functioning Arctic Council have ceased. This session will explore how science in the Arctic can transcend geopolitics in an age of climate change. Given the experiences of science cooperation in the Antarctic in the height of the Cold War, how should cooperation be considered when the urgency of research on climate change in polar regions is intense? Could Arctic science be used as a “superordinate goal” to foster bilateral cooperation and what are the mechanisms whereby this could be approached without compromising security concerns? The presenters have wide-ranging experience in Arctic science diplomacy, including work on an anthology titled Diplomacy on Ice: energy and the environment in the Arctic and Antarctic. The session will consider tangible ways in which AAAS and its Center for Science Diplomacy as well as the National Academies worldwide can build systems of science cooperation globally that are resilient to conflicts. Furthermore, there will also be an exploration of ways by which science can also help to foster trust that may eventually also facilitate peace agreements. The emerging scientific research field of “environmental peace-building” will also be contextualized in this regard.

The panel included commentaries and dialogue considering:

The Role of Arctic Science Diplomacy: Past, Present and Future
Louis Crishock, Woodrow Wilson Center’s Polar Institute, Washington, D.C.

Diplomacy with Arctic Adversaries: Learning From Post-Cold War Engagement
Paul Arthur Berkman, Science Diplomacy Center™, Falmouth, MA, Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Science Diplomacy

Importance of Science Diplomacy for Indigenous Family Connections in the Arctic
Jeanette Koelsch, Shared Beringian Program, National Park Service, Anchorage, AK

Read the original news on the Science Diplomacy Center website.