During the 1990s other types of programs were also introduced by the NAS. The most ambitious new effort was a series of policy-oriented workshops involving young investigators from the United States and from the region. These workshops were well received in the United States and abroad, and they led to a number of lasting collaborations. Popular topics included environmental protection, worker health protection, and energy conservation.
As to other activities, two highly successful 2-week training programs in laboratory analytical techniques involving up to 30 young scientists from the region were organized in Eastern Europe. A few young American scientists interested in studying science policy issues in Eastern Europe were supported. Also, a regional workshop on the intersections of science and democracy was organized in Prague. Most recently regional workshops on biosecurity were held in Budapest and Warsaw, and a bilateral workshop on innovation systems that had been developed in Poland and the United States was organized in Washington.
Activities supported by the NAS, while only a small part of the overall scientific relationships between the United States and Eastern Europe, have undoubtedly had a positive effect on international science. Also, they have supported the transformation of centrally planned economies to market-oriented approaches and to new scientific relations between East and West.
Eastern Europe is a unique cluster of middle-income countries with strong educational and scientific capabilities. These strengths are embodied, for example, in Charles University in Prague, in the Szeged Biological Center in Hungary, in the Center for Mathematics and Computational Modeling of Warsaw University, and in the Bucharest Polytechnical University. Indeed, many excellent institutions of the region have long histories of scientific interchange with the United States. Also, the strategic location of the area is obvious; and the time for science diplomacy has not ended. It is continuing.
The Eastern European desire to strengthen partnerships with U.S. colleagues is omnipresent. Considerable funding for research from Brussels has oriented much of the scientific enterprise in Eastern Europe toward cooperation with partners on the same side of the ocean. But such cooperation is sometimes described by the Eastern European beneficiaries as a low-cost alternative to not having adequate financial support to work with American colleagues.
At low cost, the NAS could sponsor annual regional scientific meetings in Europe, rotating from capital to capital. Such forums, organized in cooperation with interested academies and co-funded by these academies, could provide opportunities to exchange up-to-date information on scientific advances in selected fields, trends in efforts to promote