The public and private sectors and federal administrations from both major political parties have repeatedly recognized advantages that science brings to international relations. Scientific and technological advances are critical for addressing many major global challenges, while the apolitical focus of science on evidence allows positive interactions even in the presence of policy differences. This perspective is reflected most recently in the Obama administration’s emphasis on and support for science, technology, and innovation in many of its foreign and domestic policies. Efforts are under way to revitalize global science and technology cooperation, to address challenges that impede such cooperation, and to reach out to other countries through efforts such as the science envoy program.1 However, the administration is interested in what more can and should be done to further encourage international scientific engagement and collaboration to address challenges that face the United States and the world.
In this report, the term global science is used to describe the advancement of science as a common, global process.
Employing a universal language that connects its participants, science crosses national borders and brings people together, and has done so for centuries. Particularly in recent decades, large numbers of scientists have moved to settings that enable unencumbered scientific discovery
1For more information on the Science Envoy Program, visit www.america.gov/science_envoys.html; www.state.gov/g/oes/rls/fs/2010/136220.htm; or www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/03/157830.htm. All accessed April 4, 2011.
and exchange. Offering such opportunities, the United States has been an attractive choice for many of the brightest minds around the world. In fact, today about a quarter of the Nobel laureates living in the United States were born overseas, as Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, said in his welcoming remarks.
C. D. Mote Jr., of the University of Maryland, summarized major changes of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries related to science. Following the Vannevar Bush report Science: The Endless Frontier, delivered to President Truman in 1945, the U.S. “national innovation environment”2 was created through a partnership between government, industry, and universities delineating responsibilities for national health, welfare, and security. With the substantial changes the world experienced after the cold war, this partnership, while remarkably successful for decades, no longer corresponds to the realities that emerged in the 1990s.
The cold war period (1945–1990), Mote argued, was characterized throughout the world by a paradigm of “isolation and control” of information and innovation for national security and commercialization purposes. This paradigm has been replaced by one of “partnerships and engagement” to most effectively accelerate innovation, discovery in science, and creation of the technologies shaping the twenty-first century. However, many U.S. policies, such as export controls or travel, visa, and employment restrictions for foreign visitors, were put in place many years ago and reflect the isolation and control perspective of the past and are not adaptive in a rapidly changing world.
Businesses and industry no longer operate on a national platform but on a global platform, not for a lack of national interest, but because new economic realities dominate the identification of science and technology investments likely to be most effective. Similarly, Mote said, governments face concerns of an increasingly global nature that are rooted in science and technology and that require partnerships between and among governments: currency valuation, interest rates, climate change,
2Major elements of the U.S. national innovation environment were laid out in Science: The Endless Frontier (1945). This was not stipulated in law to be the “national innovation environment” and was not adopted formally by the nation. However, the policy recommendations of Science: The Endless Frontier were followed closely by the nation. What followed in the cold war period was a consequence of the assignment of responsibilities in that report and the nation’s adherence to its guidance.
Mote first formulated the ideas outlined in this section for the National Academies’ report S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States (2010).
pandemics, diseases, food supply and safety, terrorism, and nuclear proliferation and security, to name a few.
For the government–industry–university triad to operate effectively in a global innovation environment, the world’s principal research universities must also operate on the global platform, said Mote. Though much research involves international cooperation, most universities have not yet adopted a global vision and function, a step that industry took more than a decade ago.
Recognizing the opportunities, risks, and complexities of partnerships between governments, industries, and universities, Mote explained that science policy can facilitate advances in science and technology through promoting an environment of partnerships and engagement and through increasing the effectiveness of interactions within the global innovation platform.
Charles Vest, president of the National Academy of Engineering, opened the session on changing patterns of mobility with a reflection on the changing nature of what many call brain drain. For most of the twentieth century, the world experienced a pattern of brain drain with the brightest minds moving to countries that offered the best possible education and environments to pursue careers in science and technology. For decades, the United States was among the most appealing countries for the best researchers from around the world. In the shifting global environment this started to change. Countries such as India and China have been able to reverse the brain drain to some extent and attract scientists and engineers to return to research and technology facilities in their home countries. Other countries and regions also have created more attractive and stronger education and research environments for their scientists and engineers.
Engineering is a social exercise. To work in teams, you have to know the people you’re working with—you need to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and you need to understand each other’s culture. This is especially true when working together from a distance … so when you are on teleconferences or exchanging emails you have personal relationships to build on.
John Wall, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, Cummins Inc.
According to Vest, these conditions resulted in what is called brain circulation: Many scientists and engineers no longer spend their careers in one or two countries but in many different countries. This is changing again. In a global innovation environment and with technological advances in the cyber infrastructure, the next era could be one of brain integration, allowing experts to work increasingly across boundaries, on global problems, often without having to leave their laboratories.
During the ensuing discussion, several participants noted that to maximize advances in science and technology that benefit the global community, governments should create an environment that inspires and engages top talents from around the world, offers opportunities for leveraging international collaboration, and provides researchers with access to research facilities.
Many participants, both from the United States and from other countries, voiced concern that, particularly during the last 10 years, the United States responded to national and global security concerns with visa and immigration processes that have made it more difficult for some scientists and engineers to study, conduct research, work, or even attend meetings and conferences in this country. Visa restrictions that prevent foreign researchers from returning to the United States for certain periods of time also impose limitations on effective cooperation of benefit to the United States and the home countries of those requesting a visa. As many workshop participants pointed out, this can have serious repercussions in the short and long term, when more of the brightest young and senior researchers turn away from opportunities in the United States to those offered by other countries. Representatives of government agencies noted that U.S. government researchers also face travel restrictions imposed by government policies that limit direct interaction with research developments around the world, and that the lack of communication among U.S. government technical agencies sometimes hinders effective domestic and international coordination.
Many workshop participants noted that rapidly advancing communication technologies offer new opportunities for effective relations
through virtual meetings and collaborations and that these interactions often take place in different ways within different age groups. It also was pointed out that even though new social media play an unprecedented role, especially in connecting young people, face-to-face interactions remain critical for building long-term relationships among scientists and engineers from very different backgrounds. Several participants therefore stressed that restrictions imposed on travel and visas, which limit direct personal interaction, remain a problem.
Funding agencies should encourage joint funding with labs overseas that allows for student and researcher exchanges through linkages of labs.
Rita Colwell, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland, and U.S. Science Envoy
Rita Colwell, professor at the University of Maryland and recently appointed science envoy, highlighted that it is important for the U.S. science system to prepare young researchers for a career in today’s globally interconnected science environment. This requires a multidisciplinary approach to their education, in which foreign language and intercultural skills can be of major importance. This interdisciplinary education would be further strengthened by expanded student exchanges. However, Colwell noted that spending several years in a foreign laboratory may not be the most appropriate model, since most U.S. researchers feel the need to remain in the United States to pursue their academic career. An alternative is linkages of U.S. and foreign laboratories that allow students and researchers to spend a few weeks at a time over the span of several years in a laboratory overseas for joint research, to exchange results, draft papers, and publish with their counterparts. This can be an effective way of building international understanding and cooperation. Yet, this approach requires funding agencies to have the flexibility to provide shared funding for work in laboratories in the United States and overseas.
Working around the world for young scientists and engineers must become just like working around the country has been for earlier generations.
C. D. Mote, Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering, University of Maryland
Gebisa Ejeta, professor at Purdue University and recently appointed science envoy, emphasized the importance of strengthening science education, particularly at the tertiary level, in many developing countries to build a local science culture that increases the respect for scientists and for the benefits to society that result from their work. Marvadeen Singh-Wilmot, professor at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, added that good science education is critical for children around the world, as it shows them a way to create, innovate, and build, and thus exposes them to interesting and exciting career possibilities. Several U.S. and foreign participants stressed that investments in science education in the United States and around the world are a critical step to build a science culture in a society that is beneficial to each country and the world at large.
Both domestic and foreign workshop participants pointed out the importance of enabling early career researchers around the world to connect, collaborate, and establish relationships that have the potential to last for decades to come. Bringing early career researchers together, many noted, not only benefits scientific and technological progress, but for many of these young scientists and engineers, such connections lead to engaging with experts in other fields and to reaching out to society broadly. The idea of a science program similar to the U.S. Peace Corps was raised in the discussion; however, several workshop participants suggested that there are existing programs with such aims that merit support, some of which are described in Box 1-1.
In addition to the points already addressed, the following questions were raised during this session’s discussion:
• How will the changing demographics around the world affect mobility patterns, and what implications does this have for the United States and other countries?
• How can different sectors take advantage of an aging population of highly skilled but retired scientists and engineers?
• What can governments do to help the private sector employ the large and still-growing number of young unemployed college graduates, particularly in countries in the Middle East and North Africa?
Selected International Programs for Early Career Researchers
Young Scientist Ambassador Program (YSAP)
“This program will promote the efforts of…Young Scientists to bridge the international scientific gap by facilitating cultural, scientific, intellectual, or educational interactions. The ambassadorship must be non-traditional; that is, interaction must occur between two countries that are at different stages of scientific development, or between two countries that historically have had minimal scientific contact.” (www.chem.ufl.edu/~miller/YSAP/)
Young Scientists Volunteer Program (YSVP)
The Young Scientist Volunteer Program (YSVP) aims to bridge and close the gap between the scientific communities in developed and developing countries. Scientists are volunteering to identify barriers to and challenges for progress in developing countries; to form a list of existing helpful resources (made available by embassies, UNICEF, science academies, available visiting positions for undergraduate and graduate students and faculty, and so on); and to build a marketplace for volunteering opportunities.
Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposia
“Kavli Frontiers of Science symposia bring together outstanding young scientists to discuss exciting advances and opportunities in a broad range of disciplines. The format encourages both one-on-one conversations and informal group discussions in which young participants continue to communicate about insights gained from formal presentations and the excitement of learning about cutting-edge research in other fields. By doing so, Frontiers helps to remove communication barriers between fields and encourages collaborations among some of the world’s best and brightest young scientists. Annual Kavli Frontiers symposia are held for young scientists in the U.S. and bilateral symposia have included young researchers in the U.K., Germany, France, Japan, China, Indonesia, and India.” (www.nasonline.org/site/PageServer?pagename=FRONTIERS_main)
Frontiers of Engineering Program
“The Frontiers of Engineering program brings together…a group of engineering leaders from industry, academe, and government labs to discuss pioneering technical work and leading-edge research in various engineering fields and industry sectors. The goal of the meetings is to introduce these outstanding engineers (ages 30-45) to each other, and through this interaction facilitate collaboration in engineering, the transfer of new techniques
and approaches across fields, and establishment of contacts among the next generation of engineering leaders.” Frontiers of Engineering symposia are held annually in the United States, and bilateral symposia engage young engineers from Germany, Japan, India, and China. A multilateral symposium with the European Union started in 2010. (http://www.naefrontiers.org)
Germany’s Young Academy of Sciences
“The Junge Akademie (Young Academy) was founded in the year 2000 as an academy for the new generation of scientists and scholars. It is a joint project of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften - BBAW (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities) and the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina). Its remit is to promote interdisciplinary discourse and co-operation between outstanding young scientists and scholars, and to support initiatives at the interface between science and society.” Ten new members are elected yearly and each member of the Akademie is allocated a research budget to support joint scientific projects.” (http://www.diejungeakademie.de/english/index.html)
Note: There is also an Austrian Young Academy, a Royal Netherlands Young Academy, and a Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy. The InterAcademy Panel has furthermore established the Global Young Academy. These academies and other regional groups interact in creating international young scientist networks.
Other discussants wondered whether the Fulbright and similar programs could be modernized. While the Fulbright Program is an excellent opportunity for some of the brightest young minds around the world to get a first-class education and research experience in the United States, grant recipients often face difficulties in continuing their research once they return to their home countries (to fulfill the Fulbright 2-year home-country physical presence requirement), as many countries lack the necessary scientific and technological infrastructure. How can the United States and the home countries help these returning researchers to continue pursuing their research career? The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supports some researchers in developing countries. One participant wondered whether Germany’s Humboldt Foundation
program3 that provides funding for researchers when they return to their home country is a model that could be followed in the United States.
Today’s global research environment is highly competitive, innovation is critical, the cost of research is growing while resources are limited, and competition for the best and brightest minds is fierce. Workshop participants recognized that much is being done by U.S. federal agencies to encourage international research cooperation. Some participants also suggested additional areas of opportunity.
Scientific and technological facilities and equipment can be vital to scientific progress, yet most researchers in the world depend on access to facilities in other countries—access that may be hindered by such barriers as costs, export controls, and, in some cases, cultural factors. Several participants thought it was important to overcome these barriers.
There are a lot of resources going into science and technology around the world, and the United States should take advantage of that.
Celia Merzbacher, Vice President for Innovative Partnerships, SRC
Many countries, industries, and universities around the world invest in science and technology. Celia Merzbacher, vice president for innovative partnerships at the Semiconductor Research Corporation, suggested that an assessment of foreign centers of excellence and investment priorities of other countries would provide ideas as to how the United States and others can take advantage of these investments by pooling resources and providing complementary efforts that would benefit the global science environment and, consequently, society
3After successfully completing the initial stay sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany, Humboldt and Georg Forster Research Fellows can apply for a return fellowship to sponsor reintegration into an institute abroad. For more information see www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/return-fellowship.html (accessed September 28. 2011).
at large. Azamat Abdymomunov, former vice minister of education and science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, pointed out that an assessment should not be limited to projects that are sustained, but should include those that are being cut or eliminated, to see whether critical research needs additional support.
Some of the foreign workshop participants suggested that some developing countries have built up first-class science systems and research facilities. These provide excellent foundations for science and technology plans that address local priorities and global developments. While such plans need to come from within each country, these participants noted, some nations would benefit from greater support from the United States in developing national science and technology strategies to improve science education at all levels, and to strengthen a local science culture that increases the respect for scientists and their work. For other countries, such as Malaysia, the U.S. administration’s emphasis on science and technology and investing in research is an inspiring role model that can be followed without much external guidance.
Workshop participants expressed considerable interest in the role of industry and what can be learned from private-sector approaches. Representatives from industry indicated that many of the barriers faced by government and academia do not exist for the private sector, where national boundaries mean very little and where multinational research activities are widespread. They suggested that governments should try to leverage the experience of industry, promote partnerships with industry and between academia and industry, encourage federal agencies to be as flexible as possible, and explore how government agencies could apply an entrepreneurial spirit similar to that shown by the private sector and public foundations.
Khotso Mokhele, former president of South Africa’s National Research Foundation, pointed out that there is often an absence of an American voice at international science conferences and within inter-
national scientific bodies. The United States needs to promote its presence and participation in international science, he emphasized, which requires a critical look at how international science is and should be organized within its own boundaries.
Some international collaboration promoted by the U.S. government is driven by policy priorities that identify general areas of research. Other collaborations promote specific projects that are designed to meet the priorities of partner countries. Many U.S. government agencies face the dilemma that their mandate is predominantly domestic, which limits opportunities for actively supporting research cooperation with international partners.
As one participant noted, however, even under the constraints of a domestic mission, the leadership of an agency can significantly influence the status of science within the agency and encourage innovative ways to work with other countries on research projects. Several participants suggested that it would be extremely valuable to coordinate efforts supported by different agencies and to integrate similar projects whenever possible. For the science community, it is difficult to navigate through the opportunities provided by different U.S. government agencies, as there is no single agency or office that is responsible for international science. As Cutberto Garza, provost of Boston College, said, researchers wonder, “Who do we call when we want to speak to the individuals who are in charge of enabling and promoting international science in the United States?”
In her introductory remarks, session moderator Cherry Murray, dean of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, suggested the following common existing modes of scientific collaborations (noting that the list is not exhaustive):
• International treaties (e.g., Antarctica, space, oceans)
• Bilateral agreements between nations
• Multinational agreements (telescopes and others)
• Cases in which a country is not part of a multinational agreement but is an important partner in a scientific project (e.g., Large Hadron Collider)
• Bilateral agreements between national labs (e.g., Russia and U.S. nuclear labs)
• Bilateral agreements between universities
• Small principal investigator or research group collaborations
In the ensuing discussion, several participants remarked that changes in the global scientific environment and new information and communication technologies will provide new forms of collaborative research and further opportunities for science to be international. As Vaughan Turekian of the American Association for the Advancement of Science pointed out, this development is already reflected in the number of articles published in Science: Only about 20 percent were based on international collaborations in the early 1980s, a number that has increased to 55–60 percent since then.
Some workshop participants suggested that there is an increasing need for multilateral collaboration, given the
• Global and multidimensional nature of many of today’s challenges;
• Widely distributed expertise of researchers and facilities around the world;
• Massive amount of data that is being generated; and
• Advantages that cost sharing represents.
Cost sharing is particularly important for large-scale projects, for example in the space and earth sciences, because one country alone often cannot provide the necessary resources. Other workshop participants underlined that small-scale projects, some of which may be expanded easily in scale and others that involve only a few principal investigators, are equally important and often cost-effective. In addition, changing patterns of mobility require U.S. scientists to reach out actively to their counterparts around the globe, as the best researchers often are unable to come to the United States for extended periods commonly required by research. U.S. scientists and engineers increasingly understand that research conducted in other places in the world is relevant to their own work.
In their presentations, discussion leaders Karen Strier, professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Thomas Casadevall, scientist emeritus of the U.S. Geological Survey, identified several fields as promising areas for international cooperation, including biodiversity and the environment (including climate, which affects sustainability, health, and energy) and humanitarian assistance (especially when expanded to include issues related to the earth sciences and
responses in pre- and postcrisis situations). Casadevall added that the management, processing, storing, archiving, and accessing of scientific datasets increasingly require international collaborative efforts.
According to Larry Weber, director of the Office of International Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF), every year the world research community collects more data than in all of history previously combined, and this massive amount of data is changing the way science is done.4 Being flooded with data creates many challenges (archiving, storage, processing, and interoperability) and many opportunities. Several workshop participants emphasized that open access to data is a key question for global collaboration. It is critical to ensure that quality data are collected and shared through a peer-review process, and to define principles through which various communities may gain access to these data.
Mobile technologies and networked information technology platforms enable sharing of data and information worldwide at lightning speed. Yet, many participants noted, there are barriers, including limited broadband availability, the sheer volume of data, and restrictions faced by U.S. government agencies to access and share data and information through various virtual means. Thomas Casadevall pointed out that the U.S. government should not miss opportunities to cooperate with private companies that propose innovative ideas to manage, store, and share data. One way to achieve this, he said, would be to expand cooperative research and development agreements between government agencies and private companies.
A good example of data collection and sharing, as suggested by James Herrington, director of international relations at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the National Library of Medicine. Every NIH grant recipient is expected to publish his or her results, which are then collected and made available by the National Library of Medicine. Similar efforts exist in other U.S. agencies and other countries, although he emphasized that much more needs to be done.
4For more information see https://www.teragrid.org/web/tg11/seidel-article (accessed September 23, 2011). This is also captured in a series of articles in The Economist, February 25, 2010 issue, for example: Data, data everywhere.
Larry Weber directed workshop participants’ attention to the importance of responsible conduct of research as another area in which the international scientific community needs to collaborate. Society will demand that research is done ethically and that governments and funding agencies have systems in place that ensure integrity and responsible conduct in research activities. With science becoming increasingly international, global principles for meeting these aims are needed, he noted. Other participants supported this suggestion, including Rita Colwell, who added that convincing the international science community to adhere to a uniform code of conduct should not be difficult and should be undertaken right away, as many scientists already follow various existing standards of responsible research conduct.
Several U.S. and international participants noted that international collaborative research activities are most likely to generate promising results when they
• Focus on areas that have been identified as priorities within collaborating countries;
• Engage researchers who possess cultural awareness and local language skills;
• Include educational and capacity-building programs;
• Have a data-sharing component; and
• Build on well-established collaborative activities.
Many workshop participants illustrated specific ways in which U.S. science is engaged in international activities through private, government, and academic enterprises. What is missing, they said, is a coherent story of how and why the United States is engaged in science globally and a focal point within the U.S. government that coordinates international science and serves as a resource for researchers.
With the changing nature of science and the globalization of society, several workshop participants remarked that there is a growing need to address multidisciplinary grand challenges that increasingly require
multinational, instead of bilateral, cooperation. According to Larry Weber, “that type of global science requires large investments, larger numbers of people, expertise across multiple disciplines, and support from multiple parties, and multiple stakeholders need to be engaged and satisfied.” However, achieving truly global science policies is very difficult, and not much progress to achieving this goal has been made, argued Khotso Mokhele of South Africa. Instead, national policies for global science may be a better way to react to the changing paradigm of science, while more global approaches are explored through pilot exercises. This notion was supported by Hernan Chaimovich of Brazil, who pointed out that U.S. policies to promote global science are only effective if they serve the interests of all parties involved. According to him, policies of mutual benefit can center on enhancing the science infrastructure in a developing country or can be based on a more equal partnership, depending on the partners in question.
We should establish incentives for training grants to develop programs that raise awareness of the global nature of science.
Judith Kimble, Professor of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Judith Kimble, professor of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, highlighted that for global science to be effective, it is essential to engage early career scientists (a notion that was supported repeatedly by many workshop participants), to develop policies that promote talent exchange at every level, and to foster networks of excellence around the world. Kimble proposed that incentives be established for training grants to encourage development of programs to raise awareness of the global science platform5 among early career researchers and promote their stays in laboratories abroad.
Because the goal of these policies has not yet been clearly defined, measuring the effectiveness of science policy is difficult. Similar to many research projects, long-term achievements are more important than their short-term outcomes, said Shafiqul Islam of Tufts University.
5Similar to the way ethics programs were incorporated in training grants to raise awareness of responsible science.
Most of today’s scientific leadership around the world were trained in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s; many of them in the United States. Owing to their knowledge of the system and culture of the United States and to contacts that they have made as students and often maintained throughout their career, many have been wonderful ambassadors for the United States in their own countries. Thus, their training was a very effective investment when we look at it from a long-term perspective.
Unfortunately, the programs that supported those leaders have largely been eliminated over time, and most of them effectively ended in the 1990s. Thus, this type of investment was not made for an entire generation. The leaders of science in the upcoming generation have not had the same set of experiences and will not possess the same deep knowledge of the United States.
Michael T. Clegg, Foreign Secretary of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
Some foreign workshop participants suggested that effective science policy could be measured by the level of engagement of policy makers and politicians. The number of countries that establish science and technology agencies, appoint science and technology ministers, develop new national science policies (or improve and implement existing ones), or adopt policies and legislation on science and technology could be other indicators of success.
Many participants pointed out that although measurements are important, metrics need to be defined carefully. Many parameters were suggested, but no predominant set of measures emerged from the discussion.
The Human Genome Project (Box 1-2) was mentioned by James Herrington and Judith Kimble as one example of effective global science policy, in which scientists from 22 countries came together to establish open access policies for genome sequence data. The Human Genome Project was seen as demonstrative of the potential of open access policies to be highly effective. It also demonstrated that the effectiveness of such a policy can be measured easily, for example, by the number of papers published based on the open data made available by such a policy.
Norman Neureiter, first science advisor to the U.S. secretary of state, drew attention to the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (Box 1-3). Although the forum originally had joint, but very limited,
Human Genome Project
The Human Genome Project was a multinational effort that began in 1990. Originally planned as a 15-year project, technological advances accelerated the process and it culminated in 2003 with a complete human DNA sequence. In 1996, scientific leaders from 22 countries met in Bermuda to set guidelines for data sharing in this project. The resultant “Bermuda Principles” declared that primary genomic sequence should be released unconditionally to the public within 24 hours of its acquisition. This revolutionary standard of global cooperation was established for scientists and funding agencies and was adopted quickly. Its impact has been huge—both for advancing genome sciences and for paving the way to similar policies on other major projects designed to generate resources for the scientific community. These Bermuda principles provide a stellar example of policy driven by scientists with the express goal of setting guidelines for the common good.
For additional information, see http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/research/bermuda.shtml.
Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF)
IUSSTF was established under an agreement between the governments of India and the United States in March 2000 as an autonomous, not-for-profit society that “promotes and catalyzes Indo-U.S. bilateral collaborations in science, technology, engineering, and biomedical research through substantive interaction among government, academia, and industry.” IUSSTF is a grant-making organization whose principal objective is to provide opportunities; exchange ideas, information, skills, and technologies; and collaborate on scientific and technological endeavors “of mutual interest that can translate the power of science for the benefit of mankind at large.” (www.indousstf.org)
financial support, it has brought about 10,000 scientists together, adopted the National Academies’ Frontiers of Science and Engineering symposia for India, expanded its activities with the private sector to offer fellowships, and over time increased its funding significantly. Neureiter suggested that this is a remarkably successful model that could be implemented in other countries.
It is extremely challenging for multiple agencies in different countries to provide support for researchers from multiple countries in an organized and coordinated way, stated Larry Weber, one of the discussion leaders in this session. In the absence of a global funding organization6 functioning at the intersection of science and development, the U.S. National Science Foundation has entered into partnerships in which NSF supports U.S. researchers with their developing-country counterparts, funded by USAID or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or both.7
Weber also pointed to a pilot effort similar to the idea of a Global Science Foundation that supports researchers from across the G8 countries to work together on projects that address global challenges. Researchers from three or more countries submit a single application, and if selected, these researchers receive grants from funding agencies in their home countries. This pilot approach is intended to help funding agencies in different countries develop mechanisms that consider single proposals for multinational research cooperation submitted by a multinational group of researchers.
Judith Kimble suggested that many of the issues raised in the discussion of day one of the workshop should also be applied to domestic issues within the United States. This would not only benefit our own society but also help develop the support for international science within our domestic constituencies.
One example that shows how the United States benefits from medical experience in a different country was provided by James Herrington.
6While there is not a global funding organization for scientific research, there are two groups that should be mentioned. The European Research Council (http://erc.europa.eu), supporting investigator-driven frontier research, is the largest supranational funding agency currently in existence. The Global Science Forum of the OECD brings together science policy officials who seek to identify and maximize opportunities for international cooperation in basic scientific research (http://www.oecd.org/department/0,3355,en_2649_34319_1_1_1_1_1,00.html).
7As of February 25, 2011, NSF and USAID have worked on a memorandum of understanding between the agencies and have supported several successful projects on a case-by-case basis. A more structured program is planned to be announced soon.
NSF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation partner on the program Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development (BREAD) to support new collaborations between U.S. and international scientists and engineers that lead to a different way of thinking about developing-country agriculture.
The Mississippi delta region faces high rates of pregnancy and obesity and very poor access to health service delivery. The use of “health house” programs in Southern Iran, specifically the Shiraz region, has significantly reduced child mortality rates and improved health indicators related to maternal health, for example contraceptive use. The Mississippi delta region is learning from the Shiraz Medical School how to implement a health house program. Iran also has a very strong program in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, an additional example of many instances in which the United States learns and benefits from experiences of other countries.
During the last session of the first day of the workshop, participants reflected on the discussions and raised the following issues that had not yet been addressed:
• Many U.S. and international participants remarked that while social and behavioral sciences as well as humanities do not receive enough attention in the United States, they are critical for understanding the complex issues our societies are facing today.
• Several participants suggested that the ideas expressed in this workshop be considered in current and future activities of the White House Office of Management and Budget.
• The role of the scientific diaspora is critical for the development of many developing countries, including science, some participants noted. Yet many countries do not benefit from their diaspora as much as, for example, India and China. How can that change?
At the end of the session, committee chair Michael T. Clegg and others stressed that science policies can be developed at a national level, but that thinking of the necessary standards and norms for their successful implementation is more a scientific than an intergovernmental effort and thus is a particular challenge for the global science community. Both policy makers and the science and engineering communities have a role to play in developing policies that are global in nature and address the challenges of today’s world.
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