As global threats such as infectious disease, climate change, and food and water scarcity, increasingly require science and technology expertise it’s important to identify a framework for which early career scientists can learn to apply their expertise to address these issues. The umbrella term, Science Diplomacy is used to describe initiatives by scientists and policymakers working collaboratively to enable, advise, and build confidence in science and technology issues in international affairs. Scientific capacity and cooperation has long been key drivers for helping societies to achieve economic wealth, social development, ecological resilience and political stability. The internet and digital innovations are nurturing new generations of researchers that can share findings and breakthroughs with friends and colleagues to communicate all over the world, irrespective of their nationality, culture, or language. This is a critical and opportune time to investigate and frame the possibilities of science diplomacy with the same degree of rigor and energy as has been applied in other, more traditional, spheres of diplomacy and foreign affairs. To this end, Dr. Holford in collaboration with colleagues Jesse Ausubel and Rod Nichols developed a Science Diplomacy course taught at the Rockefeller University, which is supported by the Hurford Foundation.
Dr. Holford and colleagues, Drs. Marga Gual Soler and Tolu Oni, coedited the first Special Issue of the AAAS Science & Diplomacy magazine. The Special Issue is a collection of articles and perspectives reflecting on the first 12 months of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Science Diplomacy and what the future holds. Read the full article here.
Dr. Holford in collaboration with Drs. Jesse Ausubel and Rod Nichols are conducting a 6 week colloquium on science and international affairs as it pertains to the biomedical field.
Dr. Holford was among course instructors coaching scientists on training others during the AAAS-TWAS science diplomacy course in Trieste, Italy. Read more about the meeting here.
Dr. Holford is a member of the Roundtable on Global Science Diplomacy, which convened virtually to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic within the context of science diplomacy and how Roundtable members can best utilize their expertise for action.
Dr. Holford co-organized a World Association of Young Scientists (WAYS) panel at the recent World Science Forum in Rio de Janerio, listen to her podcast that was featured on SciDev.Net
Dr. Holford participated in the UN ECOSOC sponsored event as moderating a session on Women and Girls in Science.
Dr. Holford served on panel with Award-winning journalist Alaa Majeed, Cathy Campbell, President and CEO, CRDF Global, Shaifali Puri, Executive Director, Scientists without Borders, and David Dickson, Editor, SciDev.net to present the concept of ScienceDiplomacy to journalists at a bootcamp organized by the New York Academy of Science and CRDF Global.
Dr. Holford organized and moderated a panel titled "Practicing Science Diplomacy at Museums and Science Centers" featuring Ana Luz Porzecanski, David Schindel, and Walter Staveloz. The focus of the panel was to highlight the intersection of natural history museums and science centers as arenas for shaping and guiding science dimplomacy.
Dr. Holford was featured in the Center for Science Diplomacy at the AAAS's #IAmAScienceDiplomat campaign for using science as a universal language to build bridges with the international community.