Science Societies and State Department Establish a Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Expert Partnership

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Publication date: 
9 August 2012

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.”

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