A new report focused on improving international scientific partnerships calls on the United States – the world’s largest funder of scientific research – to take bold and meaningful steps that will strengthen connections in an increasingly global network of science and technology. The recommendations in the report, Global Connections: Emerging Science Partners, include pursuing partnerships with nations with which the United States has strained relations and adopting equity-based approaches for partnerships in nations with emerging research sectors.
The new report is from the Challenges of International Scientific Partnerships (CISP) initiative at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Global Connections: Emerging Science Partners argues that the United States has an essential leadership role in building global scientific research capacity and pursuing solutions to ongoing challenges such as pandemics and climate change. [The complete report is now online and was discussed at a virtual event on January 28, 2022.]
Since launching in 2018, CISP – co-chaired by Arthur Bienenstock (Stanford University) and Peter Michelson (Stanford University) – has engaged scientists, policymakers, and leaders from around the world. Global Connections, CISP’s third and final report, was produced under the guidance of Shirley Malcom (American Association for the Advancement of Science) and Olufunmilayo Olopade (University of Chicago), cochairs of CISP’s Emerging Science Partners Working Group.
Global Connections follows CISP’s first two reports: America and the International Future of Science (December 2020), which analyzed the challenges and benefits of American participation in international scientific partnerships, and Bold Ambition: International Large-Scale Science (June 2021), which offered best practices for large scale, international, interdisciplinary projects. The report is timely: countries around the world are boosting their national scientific funding and research capacity is increasing worldwide. At the same time, the disruption caused by the pandemic is highlighting persistent racial injustice while increasing recognition of the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The United States’ ability to fully participate in and lead this new international scientific landscape will depend largely on its ability to support new talent pipelines and foster sustainable, equitable partnerships with both established and emerging scientific enterprises.
Building on CISP’s previous reports, Global Connections offers three recommendations for the United States’ continued collaboration with Emerging Science Partners (ESPs):
- The United States should actively foster and build collaborations with ESPs, including by welcoming ESP researchers, particularly those seeking graduate education, to U.S. universities and research institutes.
- Through its research and education collaborations with ESPs, the United States will and needs to contribute to building global research capacity and the global STEM workforce.
- Collaborations with ESPs should reflect the values of transparency and equity.
“The Academy’s work to encourage global scientific connections recognizes the potential of new scientific partnerships and the urgency of the challenges facing our country and countries around the world,” said David W. Oxtoby, the President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. “From climate change to pandemics to international aid, we all benefit when our approach to science prioritizes sharing knowledge, working cooperatively, and promoting mutual benefit. The imperatives and recommendations in this report recognize the complexity of the scientific challenges we face and identify America’s role in strengthening international partnerships to address them.”
Support for the Challenges for International Scientific Partnerships project and this report on Emerging Scientific Partnerships has been provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.