TSPN Talks Science Diplomacy: Dr. Marga Gual Soler

TSPN hosted Dr. Marga Gual Soler on Thursday April 8th, 2021 at 12pm EST for TSPN Talks Science Diplomacy. Dr. Marga Gual Soler is the founder and director of SciDipGLOBAL, an international strategy, advisory, research and training consultancy in science diplomacy and science-policy interfaces. She has advised the science diplomacy strategies of governments, the EU, multilateral organizations and universities. She is a founding member of the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance and host to the NSPN inaugural SciDEAL Fellowship.

Dr. Gual Soler describes diplomacy as international relations through peaceful means, using dialogue and identifying common interests. How a country conducts diplomacy depends on a country’s foreign policy. Science diplomacy is not about executing science influencing decision making, but the execution of foreign policy. It is a multi-stakeholder endeavor and is field, geography and context specific.

The challenges caused by globalization and climate change cannot be solved by one country alone, emphasizes Dr. Gual Soler. This is why when subject matter is technical and focused, such as water and energy policy, it requires specialized knowledge. The laboratory for Nuclear Research called CERN, which brought together researchers from different countries, is a great example of science diplomacy in action.

Dr. Gual Soler goes on to describe the three dimensions of science diplomacy.

  1. Diplomacy for science, or how the diplomatic community can advance science through means such as sharing resources and infrastructure as well as granting permits and visas.
  2. Science in diplomacy, or how the governance of international and transboundary spaces and global commons are shared. Global commons include the air, water, nuclear weapons, and even the moon!
  3. Science for diplomacy, a universal language to ease tensions and open channels for dialogue between nations.

Want to learn more about science diplomacy? Find out more through Dr. Gual Soler’s website and you can also check out the free European Science Diplomacy Online Course.

A recording of the panel can be viewed on our YouTube channel and at the end of the article. TSPN would like to thank Dr. Marga Gual Soler for sharing her expertise and insight with us. We would also like to thank the University of Toronto SGS Sponsorship Fund for supporting our event. Lastly, thank you to everyone who attended and participated in the event!

— The TSPN team

TSPN is a student science policy group at the University of Toronto, where students & researchers can learn more about and engage in science policy.