A stellar roster of global leaders in science diplomacy—including executives from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol)— is set to convene this September in a science diplomats assembly under the leadership of a Filipino scientist. Internationally acclaimed Filipino Science Diplomat Glenn Banaguas was appointed chair of the 6th Asian Science Diplomats Assembly (SDA) to be held from September 18 to 22, 2023 at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Manila.
With over 100 science diplomats in the Asian region alone, the annual SDA plays a pivotal role in furthering the integration of science and diplomacy across the region’s diverse countries and cultures as well as its strategic capacities, policy goals, and the development of clear pathways to address food, human, and health securities, sustainable energy, water sufficiency, biodiversity, marine ecology, cybersecurity, infrastructure, transportation, waste, climate change, disaster risks, conflicts, violent extremisms, and terrorism.
The specific objectives of the SDA include raising awareness of science diplomacy among the science and diplomatic communities, identifying gaps and challenges in the science diplomacy sphere, and providing strategic solutions for global influence at the intersection of science, technology, innovation, peace, security, and diplomacy, and capacitating science diplomats in the use of tools and participatory mechanisms to shape policy.
“It is significant to effectively communicate our scientific work to all types of stakeholders. We do not want our science to be siloed,” Banaguas said.
“No matter how technical our work is, we want to make sure that our science will truly create a positive impact and changes in society. It is our commitment to use science for service,” Banaguas added.
Banaguas is no stranger to the international scene. A Distinguished Fellow of the UK-based Royal Society for the Arts, he is one of Asia’s leading experts in environment, climate change, and disaster risk. He is the chair of the Asean Science Diplomats and the US-Asean Fellows for Science and Technology, and the climate diplomat of the EU-Asia Expert Panel for Climate Diplomacy and Environmental Security. He was also Lee Kuan Yew senior fellow in public service and an executive fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy in Switzerland. He is also a United Nations Sasakawa for Disaster Risk Reduction and The Outstanding Filipino (Tofil) Laureate for Environment Conservation and Science Diplomacy, as well as an Asia Leaders Awardee for Sustainability Leadership. (Story and photos courtesy of Asean Science Diplomat)