. "12 A Half Century of Successes and Problems in U.S.-Iranian Cooperation in Science, Engineering, and Medicine--Glenn Schweitzer ." Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings, Tehran, Iran. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2008.
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran
phere for development of better bilateral political relations. Central to this effort is overcoming political barriers that prevent or discourage cooperation.
This paper describes a few examples in U.S.-Iranian cooperation in recent decades. The review of past efforts and the obstacles that have been encountered should provide useful background for related discussions about future activities. Such forward-looking discussions should take place at this workshop.
My presentation emphasizes events that have been supported by the governments and by well-established nongovernmental institutions in the two countries. Of course more limited efforts by individual specialists may often be the most effective form of cooperation. And the importance of multilateral activities increases during times of political turmoil. But the symbolic value of bilateral activities involving well-known institutions should not be underestimated.
This paper provides a Washington perspective on the character and impacts of bilateral cooperation. The programmatic examples add specificity to the presentation. During the discussion, I hope that participants in the workshop will add Iranian viewpoints on these and other types of cooperative activities. Many participants have firsthand experience, and their views are important.
We should be able to extract significant lessons learned from the activities that are singled out for attention. Some events have had positive effects in advancing science and in building bridges among specialists with common interests. Others underscore the importance of designing programs in ways that reduce the likelihood that they will run afoul of political impediments to cooperation, either before initiation or during implementation.
The review should help document the important role played by advocates of cooperation in both countries who are prepared to sustain their advocacy efforts over extended periods. In many cases, their efforts have clearly demonstrated that cooperation is feasible and important, even under difficult political conditions. Of course in highly sensitive security-related fields, cooperation has been and will probably continue to be off limits regardless of the