Science diplomacy is celebrated during Washington DC’s Science Diplomats Club’s annual dinner in the presence of the director of the White House OSTP

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The annual dinner for Washington, DC’s Science Diplomats Club (SDC), co-organized by the Service for Science and Technology (SST) and the Embassy of Italy (following the Embassy of Germany last year in 2018). Over 70 people were present, including science diplomats from fifteen countries (Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, New Zealand, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom). In addition to members from the SST, representatives from French research organizations (CEA, CNES, CNRS) also attended the dinner.

This year’s dinner was marked by the presence of the distinguished guest, Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, the new director for the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House who was appointed in January 2019 following a two year vacancy of this position. Other high-level guests were also present including :
Dr. France A. Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF),
Dr. Rush D. Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS),
Constance C. Arvis, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Cooperation for the US Department of State,
Dr. Craig McLean, interim Chief Scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminsitration (NOAA),
Dr. Franklin Carrero-Martinez, Director of the Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS) Program of the National Academy of Sciences,
Dr. Mark Clampin, Director of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Opening remarks for the dinner were made by the Embassy of Italy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Maurizio Greganti, who emphasized the part Italy has played in international science projects. Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier then stressed the importance of scientific and technological cooperation at the international level and the United States’ will to promote this cooperation. Dr. Yves Frenot, as president of the SDC, evoked the role of science in creating bridges between nations. As the tragedy of the Notre-Dame Cathedral that occurred a week prior recalled, world heritage should never be taken for granted. This is true for cultural heritage and natural heritage as well. The conservation of biodiversity necessitates vigilance and continuous efforts at the top of the priorities list for the promotion of international scientific cooperation. In this respect, scientific diplomacy is of a fundamental importance.