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Knowledge in Sheep's Clothing: How Science Informs American Diplomacy

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Advances in modern science are now shaping both the character and content of international relations. Scientific issues in international diplomacy such as environmental issues, space policy, biotechnology and stem cell uses, and weapons technology will all require the participation of an epistemic community of scientists alongside traditional diplomats. This article will examine three historical cases of American diplomacy in which science made a significant contribution to the outcome: the German-American Pork War of 1880-1891, the International Geophysical Year of 1956-1957, and the Montreal Protocol of 1987. In each instance, by utilizing scientists and their knowledge, the United States was able to gain benefits from cooperation that it could not have gained alone. Now, however, the US government has de-emphasized the contributions of science and scientists to its detriment when negotiating the largest international scientific problem to date: global climate change.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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