14 November 2017

Science Diplomacy – Looking Towards 2030 by Sir Peter Gluckman

Chief Science Advisor to the Government of New Zealand and Chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), Sir Peter Gluckman is to deliver a IIASA 45th Anniversary Lecture. 

Sir Peter Gluckman © NewstalkZB

Sir Peter Gluckman © NewstalkZB

On 14 November 2017 IIASA will welcome Chief Science Advisor to the Government of New Zealand Sir Peter Gluckman to deliver a IIASA 45th Anniversary Lecture, entitled "Science Diplomacy – Looking Towards 2030".  

Abstract - Science Diplomacy – Looking Towards 2030

The Sustainable Development Goals highlight the number of global challenges that will require both better application of current scientific knowledge and the development of new knowledge. While science has long had an international dimension and major international research projects, such as the work done at IIASA, have frequently required diplomatic assistance to progress, the use of science to progress diplomatic objectives is evolving. Primarily science diplomacy is about advancing national interests but these can be framed in three major dimensions. First where the primary diplomatic objective is to promote national needs through projecting voice, influence reputation or soft power – the objectives may vary according to country size and the state of development. It may have security, economic or trade objectives or be about building national STI capacity and capability.

Secondly there may be bilateral or regional issues where science must be part of the relationship management – for example management of cross-boundary resources or environments, agreeing standards, or crisis management. Thirdly there are a growing number of issues where the national interest must be embedded within a commitment to the global interest – many of these are encapsulated in the SDGs and in the work of IIASA. The governance of ungoverned spaces – for example the Antarctic, the deep ocean, deep space and aspects of the cyber world - require science to be at the base of framing governance relationships. While many global interests are encapsulated within the SDGs, the UN itself does not have an effective system for integrating and managing research needs in relationship to the SDGs and this may limit progress towards them. However, the growing utilitarian importance of science diplomacy is reflected in the number of countries appointing science advisors to foreign ministries and seeking thus to better coordinate between their international science activities and diplomatic interests. A Foreign Minsters’ Science and Technology Advisors Network (FMSTAN) has been established to encourage interchange, skill development and sharing of approaches and is coordinated via INGSA.

About Peter Gluckman

Sir Peter Gluckman (born 1949) is the Chief Science Advisor to the Government of New Zealand and Chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA).

Born in Auckland, he studied pediatrics and endocrinology at the University of Otago gaining an MBChB in 1971. This was followed by MMedSc in 1976 and a DSc in 1987 from the University of Auckland. He is Professor of Pediatric and Perinatal Biology and was the Director of the National Research Centre for Growth and Development, hosted by the University of Auckland, Head of the Department of Pediatrics and Dean of the university's Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences as well as the founding Director of the Liggins Institute. In 2007, he was appointed Program Director for Growth, Development and Metabolism at the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences. He also holds honorary chairs at National University of Singapore and the University of Southampton.

In 2009 he was appointed the first Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, and in 2014, co-chair of the World Health Organization Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity (ECHO). In August 2014, in Auckland, New Zealand, he hosted and chaired the Science Advice to Governments Conference, convened by the International Council for Science (ICSU). It was the first global meeting of science advisors, leading to the foundation of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) of which he is the founding chair. Since then Sir Peter Gluckman has profiled himself as one of the world’s leading capacities in promoting and advancing global science advice and science diplomacy. In October 2016 he chaired at IIASA the first global workshop of science advisors in foreign ministries.

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Last edited: 16 November 2017

International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA)

Office of the New Zealand Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor


Distinguished Visiting Fellow

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313