Warsaw Science Diplomacy School 2020

InsSciDE is proud to present the first edition of a unique science diplomacy training program, generating strategy to connect the past with the future, while fostering a diverse network of European science diplomats: the Warsaw Science Diplomacy School (2020: VIRTUAL) will be hosted 22-26 June 2020. The application is now closed.





Warsaw Science Diplomacy School 2020

Announcement: Our 2020 summer school #wsds20 is now virtual. 

The application is now closed. Sign up for our mailing list to receive invitations to related open events and to be alerted of next year’s summer school (#wsds21)!

InsSciDE – Inventing a shared Science Diplomacy for Europe – presents the first edition of an innovative training program for the present and future science diplomats of Europe. The Warsaw Science Diplomacy School (WSDS 2020: virtual), co-organized by our partner the European Academy of Diplomacy, is a one-week intensive course with competitive enrolment. It will immerse trainees in historical case studies of science diplomacy and its practitioners, to develop policy and strategic outcomes.

Drawing on historical analyses of science diplomacy and its practitioners throughout Europe, we deliver training in the skills revealed by our case studies – and immediately employ them towards today’s global challenges.

The week will include interactive workshops and scenarios by InsSciDE experts and a personal consultation with a science diplomacy expert or practitioner. A portion of sessions will be related to the broad theme of ‘Risk, Safety and Security within Science Diplomacy’ and general elements of the training include:

  • Future scenarios

  • Historical case studies

  • Science diplomacy strategy

  • Impactful policy planning

In true spirit of the project and with a ‘flipped learning’ approach, trainees will join experts from diverse disciplines in transforming lessons learned from historical case studies of science diplomacy into strategies and skills applicable to the global challenges of today. Activities will focus on developing policies in a global context, creating strategies for directing and facilitating interdisciplinary action, and will undertake critical questions related to the theme of ‘Risk, Safety and Security within Science Diplomacy’.

The InsSciDE case studies described below will be examined in small break-out groups during the training. The vWSDS application asks candidates to indicate their preferred case study for focus and close analysis. Please click on the case study titles to read the more detailed descriptions in their ‘pitches’ and determine which aligns most closely with your interests before completing the application.


From InsSciDE’s work package on – Science Diplomats

Barbosa du Bocage: Scientists in diplomacy during the Scramble for Africa  

With focus on the Portuguese zoologist Barbosa du Bocage, Daniel Gamito-Marques illuminates the diplomatic roles played by scientists during the period of European colonization known as the Scramble for Africa. Daniel will demonstrate the strategies employed and networks fostered by scientists in these diplomatic negotiations, which have sustained impact into modern-day African geopolitics, while trainees will navigate their application as contemporary frameworks.


From InsSciDE’s work package on – Health

  Natural resources as public goods for global health: Biodiversity negotiations

Muriel LeRoux, Research Fellow at the CNRS and case study author in InsSciDE’s work package on Health (see link below), explores the notion of collective ownership in biodiversity and dissects past attempts to frame biodiversity as a global public good. Her case study investigates the scientific and diplomatic interplay involved in a French institution acquiring a Malagasy natural substance used in an anti-cancer drug, and asks whether these interactions contributed to the French and European cooperation in the development of the Malagasy environmental protection program.


Dealing with the Plague in Oporto 1899-1900: A Matter of Global Epidemic Diplomacy

In 1899, in a time of a worldwide plague outbreak, Oporto was the first European port to be hit by the disease in an epidemic shape. The management of this disaster was part of a normative framework defined by the International Sanitary Convention, held in Venice in 1897. The Portuguese authorities were accused of failing the international information system and taking measures that were considered fully outdated, such as ‘cordon sanitaire’. Nevertheless, Oporto was the scene of international cooperation on the ground, mostly through an ad hoc international commission headed by bacteriologists from the famous Pasteur Institute.

The case study reveals the architecture of an International Epidemic Diplomacy during the first period of globalization. Céline Pailette will lead investigation of the different space and time scales of the management of epidemic risk to grasp the process of a single – or maybe plural – European Health Diplomacy at the dawn of the 20th century.


From InsSciDE’s work package on – Environment

 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea: A co-production of science and diplomacy

Through examination of one of the most important pieces of international law in the 20th century – the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – Sam Robinson, research fellow at the University of Manchester and case study author in InsSciDE’s work package on Environment, will guide understanding of how forged synergies between scientists and diplomats have shaped environmental monitoring practices. With a third of the law’s articles relating to marine pollution, science and technology, Prof Robinson’s research explores how the scientific aspects were negotiated by, with, and for scientists for the global benefit of humankind.


Do you know the perfect candidate for the WSDS? Do you represent an institution curious about science diplomacy or eager to get involved?
Nominate an excellent candidate to represent your field or institution!

The WSDS welcomes nominations from institutions across domains – including natural and social sciences, engineering, diplomacy, government and business. Nominating a candidate allows diverse institutions to establish or amplify their voice in the flourishing conversation of Europe’s position in the practice. We invite nominating institutions to establish a dialogue with us regarding their science diplomacy experience and needs for consideration in the WSDS’s curriculum development and future InsSciDE events.
How to nominate a candidate : Contact us directly stating who you would like to nominate for the training, why they would be a valuable addition to the cohort and briefly share any science diplomacy background or aspirations of the institution you represent.


Nominate a Candidate


If you are a candidate who would like to support your application with a nomination, we recommend contacting various institutions with which you are affiliated that are involved with or may benefit becoming involved in the science diplomacy ecosphere. These may include: your working institution, ministry of foreign affairs, academic alumni association or other representative agency.






Remind me later


Requested material includes an analytical essay, statement of motivation, and Curriculum Vitae. You may begin filling out your application and return to continue and submit it at a later time. For questions requiring longer responses, we suggest writing the answer in a separate document and pasting in the text when complete. Please pay attention to the character limits.

Important notes:

  • We will not able to provide university credit for this edition of our summer school

  • Candidates who are nominated must also apply through the general application

  • A nomination is not a requirement, but is encouraged

  • Costs for the training program are covered directly by InsSciDE from its Horizon 2020 European grant

  • Participation requires access to a computer and reliable internet connection

The training program is suitable for professionals or students (master’s, PhD, post-doc) with a dedicated interest in developing their science diplomacy skills and knowledge, and an enthusiasm for contributing to the emerging network of science diplomats. We aim to foster a diverse and interdisciplinary cohort of trainees and we welcome applicants of various professional and academic backgrounds, with varying degrees of science diplomacy knowledge and from across the world.

Interested candidates should note that the week-long course will require a preparatory study of certain project material, and active participation in analytical exercises and interactive workshops during our virtual live sessions.

Follow us on social media to learn about plenty more InsSciDE activities coming up, and check out the Twitter hashtag #WSDS20 to follow along with the summer school!




This project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 770523.