A week-long conference aimed at advancing diplomacy in science is being launched by a coalition of Geneva organisations, UN agencies and Swiss academic institutions in May.
The Science Diplomacy Week will take place from 16 to 20 May and will explore ways that diplomatic, business and scientific communities can work together to prepare for the next major discoveries in technology and science, and their impact on society and the environment.
“The aim is to foster a common understanding of each other's perspectives and to work together on devising the diplomatic envelopes needed to maximise beneficial uses of frontier technologies for all, while minimising their risks,” said Marga Gual Soler, senior science diplomacy adviser at the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA), which initiated the event.
Cern, the particle physics research centre, the International Science Council, and the Geneva Science Policy Interface are among the institutions also involved together with the the Geneva Center for Security Policy, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, SDG Lab led by the UN Office at Geneva, the Universities of Geneva and Zurich as well as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
The week will be held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva and include workshops, dialogues, open lectures, institutional visits as well as networking and learning experiences, GESDA said.
It comes after the foundation held its inaugural summit at the Campus Biotech in Geneva in October, which attracted around 900 participants.
Gesda was founded in 2019 by the Swiss Confederation and Geneva authorities to help provide a fresh take on multilateralism and future-proof International Geneva by positioning it as a hub for science diplomacy.
The idea behind the foundation is to identify emerging scientific innovations in laboratories around the world, anticipate their impact over five to twenty-five years, and use them to solve the global problems facing society and the planet.
Among its main areas of focus are advanced artificial intelligence, global health and human augmentation, climate change and decarbonisation, as well as science diplomacy tools.