health infrastructure programs extending the outreach into Africa and to middle-and low-income countries on other continents as well. As an example of unique aspects of this outreach, which is of considerable interest to Russian scientists, the United States is expanding its integrated surveillance of human and wildlife populations in developing countries, in anticipation of the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases from animals to human population in and near urban areas.8
The international outreaches of the two governments, when aggregated, cover most areas of the world. Activities sponsored by international organizations and international companies also involve Russian and American specialists. In addition, important cross-boundary activities have been initiated by individual research and education institutions, with or without government support. They often are based on the interests of specialists who have developed professional and personal relationships with like-minded colleagues.
In summary, there are few areas of the world where the presence of Russian and/or American biology-oriented specialists—from doctors to engineers, from teachers to practitioners, and from researchers to entrepreneurs—has not become commonplace.
BENEFITS FROM BILATERAL COLLABORATION
Building on the background described above, a variety of benefits that would accrue from bilateral cooperation in the biological sciences between the United States and Russia during the next decade are set forth below. Examples of research topics that offer high promise as focal points for engagement are presented in Chapter 10. This forward look is based in large measure on experiences of the two countries in scientific cooperation during recent years, which are documented in Chapters 2, 3, 4, and 5, as well as in the appendixes.
Internal capabilities and international interests of both countries in biology-related activities will continue to grow. The opportunities for cooperative endeavors will increase. The major uncertainty, as previously noted, is the level of financial commitments that the governments are prepared to make to bilateral cooperation. Of course, these financial commitments are usually linked to the political relationship between the two countries. Also linked to financial commitments is long-term continuation of both large and small efforts that in time can fully demonstrate their value.
Benefits to the United States
The importance to the United States of a sound bilateral relationship with Russia has been regularly emphasized by senior American government officials, particularly since 2009, when the “reset” of the relationship was highlighted by the secretary of state.9 Bioengagement has been one of the important aspects of this relationship.