The New Protocol for Science Diplomacy

Science Diplomacy has the potential to play a considerable role in future international collaborations intent on tackling societal challenges. This ambition cannot be achieved by positioning science diplomacy as a soft power to be utilized by single countries to further their interests. Tackling societal challenges is a cosmopolitan ambition and common, shared interest that requires collective action. The actions required need to be organized by the domain of science, technology and innovation in close collaboration with foreign policymakers. For these cross-boundary efforts an interaction space has to be created that adheres to certain ground rules. The New Protocol for Science Diplomacy provides a set of 12 principles geared towards creating this interaction space.

You can access the 12 principles here.

The “New Protocol for Science Diplomacy” has been developed by S4D4C consortium members Ewert Aukes, Gonzalo Ordóñez-Matamoros, Stefan Kuhlmann, and Sanaz Honarmand Ebrahimi from University of Twente, the Netherlands.

On the background page of you will find everything you need to know about the Protocol what it is, how we developed it, and what use you can make of it.

The New Protocol is also contextualized in our Policy Brief accessible here.

Towards effective science diplomacy practice

S4D4C Policy Brief 4.1 cover

Ewert Aukes, Gonzalo Ordóñez-Matamoros, Stefan Kuhlmann, and Sanaz Honarmand-Ebrahimi have published a policy brief focusing on key premises for the development of effective governance mechanisms for science diplomacy.

This Policy Brief is a product of the European H2020 funded project S4D4C.

Grand societal challenges require collective action within and across national borders. Effective action is expected from Europe and it requires targeted inter-governmental and diplomatic efforts and the mobilization of appropriate scientific knowledge. Science Diplomacy is a promising mechanism to address these grand societal challenges. We understand science diplomacy generally as collaborations between stakeholders from science, policy and diplomacy, which involve various governmental or diplomatic organizations as well as non-governmental scientific organizations. The complexity arising from the existing variety of mechanisms and stakeholders precludes a clear-cut definition of who should ‘do’ science diplomacy in what way. And many stakeholders that could be labelled ‘science diplomacy organization’ would not do so themselves. This presents challenges for organizing the governance of science diplomacy. We suggest here that governing mechanisms for science diplomacy in Europe must observe four premises to be effective. These premises include (a) grand societal challenges require both diplomatic efforts and science-based knowledge, (b) science-based knowledge production is diverse and evolving, (c) diplomacy means reconciling a variety of interests, and (d) Science Diplomacy requires combined science and diplomacy literacy. These premises set the stage for the development of governance mechanisms for Science Diplomacy. Taken seriously, they lead to governance practices that do not pre-define what Science Diplomacy is, but give interested stakeholders the guidance they need to develop effective Science Diplomacy mechanisms themselves. This will be presented in a later policy recommendation brief.

The S4D4C project, together with its sister project InsSciDE, provides conceptual and practical tools that can help decision-makers continue to build a visible and effective science diplomacy in the European Union and beyond.

–>>>> DOWNLOAD THE project’s policy brief HERE!

Tentative governance of emerging science and technology

Kuhlmann et al RP 2019

By Stefan Kuhlmann, Peter Stegmaier and Kornelia Konrad

2019 we published an Introduction (open access) and Special Section in the journal Research Policy.

While actors in public policy, industry, or civil society organisations attempting to ‘govern’ Emerging Science and Technology (EST) may try to promote desired effects, often the actor constellations and institutional arrangements, deliberations and decision-making are too complex to achieve the aims directly. Actors cannot be sure whether classical-modernist policy practices or new deliberative ones are likely to prove more effective. No easy solutions are in sight. Actors often seem to undertake ’explorative’, ‘underdetermined’ or even ‘ad hoc’ movements in a search for the right constellations and opportunities, strategies and breakthroughs.

Our conceptual Introduction and the Special Section examine different modes of ‘tentative governance’ of EST. The notion of tentative governance appears particularly relevant in the case of EST, given all the uncertainties and dynamics related to the scientific base, technologies, possible innovations, societal benefits and potential risks. While one may argue that such uncertainties are not peculiar to EST, it is nevertheless apparent that in industry, society and public policy the level of awareness of these uncertainties has increased, largely as a result of experiences with former emerging technologies (e.g. genetically modified organisms, nuclear technology). Governance is ‘tentative’ when public and private interventions are designed as a dynamic process that is prudent and preliminary rather than assertive and persistent. Tentative governance typically aims at creating spaces for probing and learning instead of stipulating definitive targets.

Our paper suggests a heuristic to understand and position ‘tentative governance’. One main finding is that the inherent contingency of EST requires rather tentative approaches to governance, though often in combination with more definitive modes of governance, with the exact mixture involving a balancing act.

The articles of the Special Section include:

Kuhlmann, S., Stegmaier, P., Konrad, K., The tentative governance of emerging science and technology—A conceptual introduction (open access)

Budde, B., Konrad, K., Tentative governing of fuel cell innovation in a dynamic network of expectations

Hopkins, M.M., Crane, P., Nightingale, P., Baden-Fuller, C., Moving from non-interventionism to industrial strategy: The roles of tentative and definitive governance in support of the UK biotech sector

Lyall, C., Tait, J., Beyond the limits to governance: new rules of engagement for the tentative governance of the life sciences

Fisher, E., Governing with ambivalence: the tentative origins of socio-technical integration

Review of Danish Research and Innovation System

Review Innovation Policy Denmark

Ten steps, and a leap forward: taking Danish innovation to the next level – says a peer review panel of Christian Ketels, Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz, Jackie Hunter, Stefan Kuhlmann, Tony Raven, Pieter Heringa, Uri Gabai, Göran Marklund and Christopher Palmberg.

Abstract: “Denmark is among Europe’s innovation leaders, with a strong science base, high overall investments in R&D activities, and particular strengths in a range of fields. While this position is under no immediate threat, this review finds Denmark failing to fully leverage its strengths and to adjust to a changing global innovation landscape. The review recommends a number of specific changes – evolving the role of particular parts of the Danish innovation system, enhancing the coordination across them, and adding particular new features. More importantly, however, the review suggests a broad-based effort to create an overarching Danish innovation strategy, and an institutional architecture to underpin it. The lack of such an integrating structure has left the Danish system perform below its potential, despite good or even excellent performance in individual parts. Filling this gap promises significant rewards but will take strong political will beyond one ministry.”

One potential anchor for Denmark’s future vision are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There is no doubt that public and private investment in initiatives directed at attaining SDGs is increasing which creates demand for innovative solutions (Report p. 111).

This Peer review of the Danish science and innovation system delivers on a commitment made by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science (MHES) in the 2017 strategy for research and innovation. It was conducted by a panel of international peers and independent subject matter experts under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility (PSF).

Handbook on Science and Public Policy

Handbook cover_1

Dagmar Simon, Stefan Kuhlmann, Julia Stamm and Weert Canzler have edited a Handbook on Science and Public Policy

The handbook assembles state-of-the-art insights into the co-evolutionary and precarious relations between science and public policy. Beyond this, it also offers a fresh outlook on emerging challenges for science (including technology and innovation) in changing societies, and related policy requirements, as well as the challenges for public policy in view of science-driven economic, societal, and cultural changes. In short, this book deals with science as a policy-triggered project as well as public policy as a science-driven venture.

The “Introduction Science and public policy – relations in flux” can be downloaded.



Twente Approach to Engaged Science, Technology and Policy Studies

1_Univ TwenteScience, Technology and Innovation (STI) generate sites for articulation, contestation, navigation, negotiation, and change in modern societies. STI Studies aim to understand and conceptualize the material, social, intellectual, political and moral dynamics of STI in society. Some STI Studies groups also get involved in the active shaping of technology and innovation. Our department of Science, Technology, and Policy Studies (STePS) at the University of Twente (UT), the Netherlands, ventures to combine theory, critical analysis and active intervention in real-world spaces for articulation and negotiation.

Read our article “Engaged Science, Technology and Policy Studies: The Twente Approach”, by Kuhlmann, S., Konrad, K. E. & Roberts, L. L., Nov 2017, EASST review, 36/3

Handbook Innovation Governance for Emerging Economies

Kuhlmann, S. & Ordóñez-Matamoros, G. (eds.) (2017): Research Handbook on Innovation Governance for Emerging Economies: Towards Better Models, Cheltenham, UK (Edward Elgar), | Elgaronline et al case

Although in recent years some emerging economies have improved their performance in terms of R&D investment, outputs and innovative capacity, these countries are still blighted by extreme poverty, inequality and social exclusion. Hence, emerging countries are exposed to conditions which differ quite substantially from the dominant OECD model of innovation policy for development and welfare. This Handbook contributes to the debate by looking at how innovation theory, policy and practice interact, and explains different types of configurations in countries that are characterized by two contrasting but mutually reinforcing features: systemic failure and resourcefulness. Focusing on innovation governance and public policies, it aims to understand related governance failures and to explore options for alternative, more efficient approaches.