PhD researcher publishes Parliamentary briefing into role science can play in international relations

Emmeline Ledgerwood from our School of History, Politics and International Relations has published a briefing on Science Diplomacy based on research conducted during her 3-month RCUK policy fellowship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology in London.

Science diplomacy refers to the role science can play in international relations, or how diplomatic efforts support international science. These can include the promotion of national interests, for example improving innovation capacity, addressing cross-border issues, such as the sharing of water resources, or tackling global challenges such as ocean acidification.

“This fellowship was an invaluable opportunity to see how academic research makes its way into the policy-making environment. POSTnotes are published on emerging topics that parliamentarians need to know about," Emmeline said.

Key Points from the briefing include:

  • Science diplomacy draws on scientific collaborations to build and retain international consensus.
  • Science diplomacy is recognised as an effective way of bringing countries together to work on shared challenges.
  • Discussing shared scientific achievements can lead to dialogue about other issues.
  • The UK’s aid strategy has expanded the availability of funding for international science collaborations.
  • The UK Government recognises that science and innovation can work as a springboard in maintaining links with Europe and in nurturing other international partnerships post-Brexit.