On July 25th, ten science organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the US Department of State to establish the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Expert Partnership. The participating organizations included the American Institute of Physics along with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Chemical Society, the American Geosciences Institute, the American Society of Microbiology, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Association of American Engineering Societies, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and the Smithsonian Institution. The signing took place at a widely attended science diaspora networking reception and ceremony held at the National Academy of Sciences.
“The Science, Technology and Innovation Expert Partnership will introduce US science and technology experts to foreign audiences through US Embassy supported public diplomacy programs. The Partnership advances the [State] Department’s efforts to promote economic prosperity, democratic governance, social development, and global scientific knowledge and to share that information with foreign audiences,” explains the Department of State in a press statement.
The announcement of the STI Expert Partnership was a part of the Secretary of State’s second annual Global Diaspora Forum, organized by the Department of State’s Global Partnership Initiative and held in Washington, DC on July 25th and 26th. Also announced at the science diaspora networking reception was the creation of Networks of Diasporas in Engineering and Sciences. This is a joint effort between the Office of Science and Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State, the AAAS, and the NAS to connect the large number of scientists and engineers who have immigrated to the US and to “build their capacity to develop and influence effective policies and connect their talents with needs in their countries of origin.”
The STI Expert Partnership is intended to expand the reach of scientists and engineers already abroad for conferences or meetings. The partnership “seeks to promote economic prosperity, democratic governance, and social development through increased scientific and technological programming worldwide.” Scientists traveling abroad will be offered opportunities to visit nearby countries to speak under the auspices of American embassies on matters relating to science and technology.
The STI Expert partnering organizations agree to the following shared goals: to address and discuss “global challenges in science and engineering with foreign publics;” to educate and engage foreign publics “about important scientific and technological issues in relation to global society and the role of innovation in addressing shared global needs and challenges;” to strengthen “the foundation for expanded international scientific and technological collaboration;” to expand “the opportunity to forge international relationships that build science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) capacity in developing nations in support of enhancing scientific literacy;” to inspire a new generation of foreign publics who wish “to pursue careers in STEM fields to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators;” and to empower and advance “the status of women and girls through equal opportunities in science and technology, especially access to education and innovative technologies.”