LECTURE A Scientist in the Foreign Office
April 2 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Robin Grimes, FCO and MOD Chief Scientific Officer
Scientists permeate throughout the civil service. They percolate throughout committees where they are called upon to suggest options for a variety of challenges. Nevertheless, the idea of having a chief Scientific Adviser in the FCO is new; I was only the second. Of course, the idea of a Chief Scientific Advisor is not about being all things science to all diplomats, but it is about ensuring that science is a ready tool in the diplomatic tool box and to embed science diplomacy in the organisation. And that means at all levels, including to Ministers.
Science diplomacy can be described in terms of three categories. Science in diplomacy, where science evidence is used to support diplomatic activity. Science for diplomacy, where science or scientists act as a beach-head, leading to improved political, social and economic links. This builds confidence and facilitates the development of diplomatic relations. Lastly Diplomacy for science, where the diplomats help scientists to achieve their goals – diplomacy supports science.’
I will describe how I came to be on the CSA trajectory, provide various examples of science diplomacy and show how it has made a difference. In particular I will draw attention to the variety of networks through which science diplomacy is developed and delivered.’
Robin Grimes has been Professor of Materials Physics at Imperial College , London since 2002. He has been a Chief Scientific Officer at the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence.
- April 2
- 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm