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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran
Cooperation can take other forms. There can be short visits of senior scientists and professors, for whom workshops or lectures are convened in the receiving country. Two groups in two countries can work on different aspects of the same topic, with easy communication over the Internet and occasional short-term visits to discuss results. A truly cooperative project is best achieved through actual exchanges of researchers between laboratories in the two countries. The exchanges can be at any level academic level—bachelors, masters, postdoctoral, or senior researcher. A successful project should result in joint publication of results in an international journal by authors from both countries. Such joint projects can be undertaken through informal relationships between individual scientists and their coworkers or they can be institutionalized through formal agreements between institutions.
If political relations between two countries are strained, it is sometimes still possible to develop cooperation through international organizations such as United Nations affiliated organizations, the International Council of Scientific Unions, or smaller bodies such as the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis. Professional scientific societies, such as the American Chemical Society or the academies of science of different various countries can also facilitate cooperation.
There are many areas in which cooperation is possible, even as there may be some topics or areas that will be considered too sensitive for cooperation. Promising areas for cooperation include science education at all levels, science and technology policy, geosciences, energy, food production, water quality and quantity, and medical research problems, together with basic research in many disciplines.
Turning to the example of the United States and Iran, efforts are needed on both sides to eliminate or mitigate the barriers that inhibit cooperation. On our side, we can generate publicity about our present visit to Iran, the success of our seminar, and the warm welcome that we have received. We can mention some of the cooperative research opportunities that exist in Iran. We can also work with the U.S. Department of the Treasury to facilitate