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The Daily: The Tacit Diplomacy of Life Sciences

The Daily: The Tacit Diplomacy of Life Sciences

January 14, 2014 6:50 am by: Category: The Daily

Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.

Interesting change of tone. Curious what will follow this up:


The USC Center on Public Diplomacy is celebrating its 10th birthday!! Check out their resolutions for 2014.

New Year resolutions are already aplenty, but we at CPD thought you might still be interested in knowing our goals for the year ahead. As CPD enters its 10th year, our mission remains the same. Our work continues to be guided by a global vision, a drive to integrate research and practice for distinctive social impact, and a commitment to preparing the next generation of public diplomacy leaders and practitioners. We share your belief that public diplomacy plays a crucial and expanding role in fostering peaceful, productive relations between nations and peoples. [CPD Blog]


Life sciences have become an expanding source of international collaboration. So much so that the evolving norms are developing into “tacit diplomacy.”

Although some life science advances have generated worry in diplomatic circles, scientists using the technologies and conducting the research are far more likely to embrace new advances as they emerge, usually, but not always, without controversy. So what accounts for the different attitudes, and what might be done to reconcile the positive progression of science with diplomatic and security concerns? This article highlights the roles played by the unprecedented rise of international collaborations in scientific communities, the internationalization of science education, and the attendant slow but steady adoption of norms of behavior. These roles together knit a kind of “tacit diplomacy” that helps to mitigate concerns about advances in the life sciences. [Science & Diplomacy]


Also on the science diplomacy front, the American Society of Microbiology just launched a new quarterly publication, Cultures, that “explores the intersection of science, policy and the global challenges we all share by bringing diverse voices to a common platform.” [ASMsociety]


In an opinion piece for Hurriyet, Barçin Yinanç hopes Russia employs more long-term soft power thinking than the “come, compete, go” manner that will only paper over problems.

Sochi, on the other hand, is known to be the traditional capital to Circassians who have suffered in the hands of the Russians during the end of the 19th century. The Olympic Games in Sochi are reviving sad memories of mass killings and forced deportation. Circassians were subjected to assimilation in Turkey too. They were forced to speak in Turkish and the names of their villages were changed. Fortunately, they are now benefiting from recent legal amendments (that were intended for Kurds actually). When Canada hosted the winter Olympics, the four tribes who originally occupied the land on which the events were held were made part of the whole process, with an especially visible presence at the opening ceremony. It is only understandable for Russia to make the Olympics a showcase for its return to the world stage as a global power. Yet in our days, states not only need to display hard power but also soft power if they really aspire for global roles.  [Hurriyet Daily News]


As part of the response to the crisis in the Central African Republic, the U.S. State Department is hosting interreligious dialogues on how peace-building can begin.

With a view towards promoting dialogue and connecting religious leaders with their American counterparts, the U.S. Department of State, led by U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Rashad Hussain, hosted an interreligious dialogue last week on the crisis that included the Archbishop of Bangui, the President of the National Islamic Association, the President of the Evangelical Association, and the Mayor of Bangui. According to a U.S. Department of State press release, “The religious leaders from CAR described their efforts to end the ongoing violence and promote peace, thanked the United States for its assistance and efforts, and called for further international humanitarian and security assistance in CAR. The panelists from the United States praised the religious leaders in CAR for their efforts to promote religious tolerance and reconciliation, noted examples of successful interfaith cooperation in the United States, and proposed further collaboration with their counterparts. Both sides agreed to continue the discussion further, to work together to increase education and training on reconciliation and peacebuilding and to seek opportunities to support the travel of religious leaders to CAR to support peace and inter-religious cooperation.” [Take Five]




More (and quality) analysis of Dennis Rodman’s basketball diplomacy with North Korea: poor planning, negative/dismissive media, strange timing, and an American public that was not ready to look pass stereotypes.

First and foremost, exchanges have to go two ways. The beginning of a cultural exchange needs to inspire optimism, not cynicism, on both sides, and unfortunately for Rodman, his initiative was ridiculed in the press from the start. The planners of this trip certainly appear optimistic, but they also come off as deeply myopic, because they ignored, paradoxically, the American public. Simply put, they did not actively seek to break stereotypes of the North Korean people to American audiences, while at the same time fell victim to major design flaws of the exchange itself that doomed its effectiveness from the start. []


R.S. Zaharna also weighs in on how the media—and specifically CNN—were to blame for over-politicizing the trip before anything related to sports diplomacy could take place.

Sports diplomacy is often presented as a slam dunk approach for building relations across political divides. Last week veteran NBA star Dennis Rodman took a shot at “basketball diplomacy” in North Korea and showed how professed good intentions can go afoul. It also demonstrated the deft role of the media as the tables turned on the NBA players following a confrontational interview between Rodman and CNN New Day anchor Chris Cuomo. The NBA players not only lost control of the ball but became the ball on CNN’s court. [CPD Blog]


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s controversial visit to the Yasukuni Shrine has instigated a lot of bickering between East Asian leaders. That fight has moved into the arena of public diplomacy.

Publishing articles in influential newspapers is an effective way to boost public diplomacy and deliver needed information to the people there, said Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies. “Those nations have unforgettable memories of World War II, and many of them were even the contracting parties of key postwar legal documents, such as the Declaration of Cairo,” Ruan said. Abe has ordered Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to require embassies around the world to fight back and publicize his pledge of “no war” during the pilgrimage, Japan’s Jiji news agency confirmed on Friday. “Abe is seeking another confrontation between Japan and China in the international arena of public diplomacy,” said Liu Jiangyong, deputy dean of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University. [China Daily via John Brown’s Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review]




photo credit: CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith

African politics AIR American Society of Microbiology Barcin Yinanc Central African Republic Cultures dialogue Hurriey international collaboration life sciences NN ping pong diplomacy R.S. Zaharna radio resolutions Shinzo Abe tacit diplomacy Yasukuni Shrine
The Daily: The Tacit Diplomacy of Life Sciences Reviewed by on . Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day. [divide] Interesting change of tone. Curious Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day. [divide] Interesting change of tone. Curious Rating: 0

About Michael Ardaiolo

Michael Ardaiolo is currently a student in Syracuse University's Public Diplomacy Master's Program: M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and M.S. in Public Relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. In addition, he is a recovering record slinger, a Criterion Collection addict, an NBA obsessor, and a struggling student of the Korean language.

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