Overall Goal

The Science Diplomacy Thematic Network builds on scientific cooperation that has maintained the high north as a region of low tension, helping achieve Arctic sustainability across generations. The Network will enhance research, education and leadership at the intersection of the sciences (natural sciences, social sciences and indigenous knowledge) and diplomacy. It will engage the full range of stakeholders, from diplomats and experts to students, in an international, interdisciplinary and inclusive manner. Science diplomacy in the Arctic has already proven its global relevance, as highlighted by the Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation signed by the foreign ministers of all eight Arctic states as well as from the Governments of Greenland and the Faroe Islands on 11 May 2017 at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Main Activities

The Science Diplomacy Thematic Network will involve interdisciplinary research (natural sciences, social sciences, indigenous knowledge and international relations) in the Arctic context, collaborative and innovative education opportunities across the UArctic Network (science diplomacy joint courses, faculty exchanges, etc.), and will convene high-level, international dialogues and conferences.

Current and Planned activities

  • Arctic conferences that contribute to UArctic, building on progress with the Fletcher Arctic Initiative and its six previous Arctic conferences;
  • Science Diplomacy Clubs at institutions across UArctic, building on progress of the Fletcher Science Diplomacy Club;
  • International dialogues among high-level decision makers and global thought leaders that build common interests among nations by applying science diplomacy, as exemplified by the NATO Advanced Research Workshop that became the first dialogue between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Russian Federation regarding environmental security in the Arctic Ocean;
  • Mock Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting and student-ambassador construction of declarations that they negotiate by consensus and sign, as developed through the course on Science Diplomacy: Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean, which involved video-teleconferencing between The Fletcher School (United States) and MGIMO University (Russian Federation) in Spring 2017; and
  • Student and faculty exchanges that relate to science-diplomacy research, education and leadership, as demonstrated by currently funded research projects at The Fletcher School.