Volume 3 - October 5, 2004 - People in the Spotlight

The Soft Power of Science Cooperation

bridges vol. 18, July 2008 / OpEds & Commentaries

by Norman Neureiter

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Norman P. Neureiter

International scientific and technical cooperation have the potential to be one of America's most powerful and effective soft-power instruments for a constructive foreign policy. A recent public opinion poll in Muslim countries found that although US foreign policy and cultural values were not highly regarded, US achievements in science and technology earned the highest respect and admiration.  Dialogue among scientists can often contribute to the resolution of issues that elude politicians.
Therefore support for international scientific and technical cooperation must be a vital element in the formulation and execution of foreign policy. It is essential to keep repeating that message and reminding policy makers of this critical link between science and international relations.  In the cacophonous world of policy making, without a constant reminder, that capricious razor in the foreign affairs area - called "responsible budgeting" - can so easily fall on science as it often has in the past. 

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