19 May 2017

MGIMO Hosts Round table on Modern Scientific Diplomacy

May 18th and 19th, a round table entitled «Modern scientific diplomacy: the experience of Russia and the UK» took place at MGIMO. The event was jointly organized by the Royal Society (UK) and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and gathered Russian and foreign experts, diplomats, academics and professionals.

MGIMO Rector Anatoly Torkunov kicked off the event by recalling how the idea of holding the round table appeared a year back during one of the Royal Society’s visits to Moscow. The Rector also remarked that back in the summer of 1916 at Cambridge University, a large Russian delegation had travelled to the UK to elaborate together with British colleagues the basic principles of Science Diplomacy. While these approaches could not be realized at the time, the Rector noted that it is vital today to focus once more our attention on academic diplomacy.

In turn, Andrei Fursenko, Aide the President of Russia, underlined the fact that education and science are spheres where one can go beyond disagreements to find a terrain for mutually beneficial cooperation.

The Chairman of the RFBR Council Vladislav Panchenko remarked that MGIMO was a perfect place to host such a roundtable as the University trains Russian diplomatic personnel.

Martin Polyakoff, member and former Vice-President of the Royal Society spoke about the British Academy of Sciences and shared with the audience his hope that the gathering is a first step towards establishing a scientific partnership between England and Russia. On the British side, also participating in the event were staff from the Embassy in Moscow, from the British Foreign Ministry, members of the Royal Society and academics. The topics of the discussions were: «The concept of world scientific diplomacy today», «The role of expertise in international politics and global scientific diplomacy» and «Scientific diplomacy and global cooperation».

— See the MGIMO web-site for more photos and russian version