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Scientists and policymakers aim to tackle complex global issues at the nexus of science and diplomacy

Scientists and policymakers aim to tackle complex global issues at the nexus of science and diplomacy

Participant pairs from eleven nations will meet in Italy at the 11th AAAS-TWAS Course on Science Diplomacy

Trieste, Italy — The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the world’s largest general scientific societies and publisher of the Science family of journals, will host 19 scientists and policymakers from 11 countries, including Cameroon, Guatemala, Nepal and Sudan, in Trieste, Italy, for the 11th AAAS-TWAS Course on Science Diplomacy on June 18-20, 2024.

Early career scientists and policymakers are attending as participant pairs to envision together novel approaches to address some of the most pressing, cross-border challenges that the world is facing today — from the climate crisis to biodiversity loss, as well as populations displaced by natural disasters, wars, and pandemics. 

Sci Dipl participants
Participants in the 2023 TWAS-AAAS Science Diplomacy Course. (Photo: G. Ortolani/ TWAS)

The course will continue the novel approach launched in 2021 of pairing an early-career scientist with an individual from the policymaking world, including local or national government officials, diplomats, or representatives of research-funding institutions. All participants bring unique perspectives on evidence-based interventions in developing countries.

“By pairing course participants and equipping them with the relevant and necessary knowledge they need about science diplomacy, TWAS and AAAS  aim to forge stronger links between researchers and decision-makers living or working in the same countries. This early engagement between scientists and policymakers aims to facilitate more rapid adoption of evidence-based solutions to national, regional, and global challenges,” said Quarraisha Abdool Karim, TWAS president.

Today, 368 alumni of the AAAS-TWAS Science Diplomacy Course are now influencing policy and spreading knowledge about the fast-growing science diplomacy field throughout the developing world.

“AAAS is committed to building bridges between the scientific and foreign affairs communities, which is one of the goals of this course. By continuing this important partnership with TWAS, we are strengthening the links between science and diplomacy in multiple countries around the world. This immersive experience strives to build trust and create long-lasting partnerships within participant pairs for them to become agents of change,” said Sudip Parikh, CEO of AAAS and Executive Publisher of the Science family of journals.

The course includes sessions on:

  • ‘Science for Diplomacy: Cases of Collaboration in Times of Diplomatic Tension’;
  • ‘Science in Diplomacy: The Role of Scientists Towards Achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals’; and
  • ‘Diplomacy for Science: International Efforts to Build Large-Scale Infrastructure Projects’.

Among the in-person speakers of this year’s course are:

  • Ivonne Higuero, Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);
  • Eudy Mabuza, South Africa’s Mission to the European Union; and
  • Michela Miletto, UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), Perugia, Italy.

The course has been connecting scientists and policymakers since its 2014 launch with key funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and AAAS. The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), whose secretariat is hosted by TWAS in Trieste, also contributed funding for this edition.


List of participants

  • Marianela Soledad Rodriguez, National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) and the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) and Malén Vazquez, Secretaria de Embajada, Coordinadora de Ciencia, Dirección Nacional de Promoción de la Cultura, la Educación y la Ciencia, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio Internacional y Culto, República Argentina;
  • Linda Dyorisse Nyamen, Department of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Yaoundé I and Peter T. Ndifon, Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon;
  • María Eugenia, Cabrera Catalán, IFIM, Escuela de Ciencias Físicas y Matematicas. Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala and Victoria Lorena Moraga Conde, OWSD Capítulo Guatemala, Universidad de Costa Rica y Ministerio de Educación de Guatemala;
  • Nidhi Singh, Indian Council of Medical Research and Sneha Sinha, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), India;
  • Andriamanarivosoa Rija, Razafintsalama, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Toamasina and Ioclin Dahy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Madagascar;
  • Supriya Sharma, Central Department of Microbiology, Tribhuvan University, and Shreedhar Aryal, Senior Consultant , Surgeon, Bhaktapur Hospital, Nepal;
  • Ali Talha Khalil, Lady Reading Hospital Medical teaching Institution, Peshawar, Pakistan; and Habib Ullah Jan, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan;
  • Razan Mutasim Bashir Nimir, Environment and Natural Resources Management Consultant, Sudan;
  • Godwin Anywar, Makerere University, and Immaculate Nakamya, Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, Uganda;
  • Nassiba, Baimatova, al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakhstan and Elisabeth Deus, Departmental Research, Research Coordination and Science Policy Analyses, in the Federal Ministry of Health in Germany, Germany and France.

About TWAS

For 40 years, The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS) has been a leading force in developing crucial scientific capability in some of the most underdeveloped countries in the world. A global science academy founded in 1983 in Trieste, Italy, TWAS supports sustainable prosperity through research, education, policy, and diplomacy. With its partners, it has graduated over 1,000 PhDs and offered hundreds of postdoctoral fellowships to developing world scientists. The Academy also hosts prestigious scientific awards in the global South, has offered numerous research grants, and supports exchange visits for scientists. TWAS is a programme unit of UNESCO. More information:

About AAAS

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is one of the world’s largest general scientific societies and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information about AAAS, visit


Photos of the previous edition of the AAAS-TWAS Course on Science Diplomacy are available at

TWAS and AAAS acknowledge the contribution of the following reviewers who evaluated the applications of the participants:

Roula Abdel-Massih, Lebanon/USA; Yohannes Sitotaw Addisie, Ethiopia; Muhammad Adeel, Pakistan; Rael Teresa Adhiambo, Kenya; Lucía Alicia Aguerre, Argentina; Becky Nancy Achieng' Aloo, Kenya; Mayra Belén Ameneiros, Argentina; Lydia Otoo Amponsah, Ghana; Alsácia Atanásio, Mozambique; Mamta            Bhardwaj, India; Pendo Nandiga Bigambo, Tanzania; Fiodor Braniste, Moldova; Nafiisah Chotun, Mauritius; Elena Culighin, Moldova; Luz M. Cumba Garcia, USA/PR; Teshome Tolcha Dadi, Ethiopia; Andrei De Abreu Sodre' Polejack, Brazil; Dra. Fernanda Lana, Brazil; Sinikiwe Dube, Zimbabwe; Rehab Motasiem Nasr Ali El-Maghraby, Egypt; Laura Andrea Galvis Vargas, Colombia; Jenice Jean Goveas, India; Abdoul-Azize Hamidou Taffa, Niger Rep.; Mai Mamoun Ali Hassan, Sudan; Peany Houng, Cambodia; Kenneth Jim Joseph Jimeno, Philippines; Bhamini Kamudu Applasawmy, Mauritius; Leena Kukreja, India; Fidero Kuok, Cambodia; Igor Lyman, Ukraine; Rohan Malhotra, India; Mariana Martins de Andrade, Brazil; Nonhlanhla Gugu Mguni, Zimbabwe; Esther Vendeline Mkenda, Tanzania; Grace Omoluwabi Mogekwu, Nigeria; Sara Gafer Mohamid Elhassan Mohamidsagier, Sudan; Soulé Moussa, Niger Rep.; Diego Ignacio Murguia, Argentina; Silvi Mustikawati, Indonesia; Katia Nchimi, France; Marta Nešković, Serbia; Siti Hawa Binti Ngalim, Malaysia; Aristides Osvaldo Ngolo, Angola; Marian Asantewah Nkansah, Ghana; Ntandokamlimu Nondo, Zimbabwe; Efe Ogidiaka, Nigeria; Blessing Odafe Omovoh, Nigeria; Yevheniia Polishchuk, Ukraine; Lijalem Ayele Regassa, Ethiopia; Erle Rikmann, Estonia; Agustina Salvati, Argentina; Noor Shaila Sarmin, Bangladesh; Mahesha Nadugala, Sri Lanka; Marvadeen Alvarine Singh-Wilmot, Jamaica; Sasitorn Srisawadi, Thailand; Deepika Srivastava, India; Sarmila Tandukar, Nepal; Kamna Tiwary, India; Milica Todorić, Serbia; Montserrat Vargas Solorzano, Costa Rica; Ranti Yulia Wardani, Indonesia; Andrè Xuereb, Malta.