An Arctic example: How scientific collaboration can foster international stability
In this Policy Forum, Paul Arthur Berkman et al. underscore how international scientific collaboration in the Arctic can help align common interests among countries experiencing geopolitical conflict. Their article follows the signing of the Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation last May. The Agreement was signed by the foreign ministers of the eight Arctic States – including by the U.S. and Russia, despite deteriorating relations between the two countries in the wake of conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, issues involving cyber-security, and broader concerns about expanding militarization. The authors walk readers through a history of international Arctic collaboration that began in the 1950s and has continuously grown ever since. They highlight numerous benefits that this latest agreement will yield, including: improved movement of researchers, equipment, and materials; increased sharing of data and metadata; and the transfer of traditional and local knowledge across territories. As well, they offer a list of ways to further foster better scientific collaboration within the limits of the Agreement. Effective implementation of the agreement will require its associated networks to help strengthen research and education across borders, Berkman et al. say, noting that this underscores how science diplomacy helps to balance national interests and common interests for the lasting benefit of all. Related stakeholders plan a meeting in Moscow in November.
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