Monday, December 14, 2009

U.S.-DPRK Science Engagement Consortium

Last week I posted to Twitter (RT of @PublicDiplomacy) and listed on IHEC Blog’sLinks of Interest” post on Friday the following article “U.S. Scientists Due in Pyongyang for Talks on Academic Cooperation” from Brunei fm World. In my busy I life last week I didn’t stop to think about the significance of these talks but over the weekend I thought much more about this and wondered why I only picked this up via @PublicDiplomacy's Twitter post and didn't read it in any U.S. media outlets.

I then investigated further and went to the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) & the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CDRF) websites to see what they were saying about this historic visit by U.S. scientists to North Korea. You can read the joint AAAS/CDRF news release here.

I have copied and pasted a snippet of the news release below that further describes the
U.S.-DPRK Science Engagement Consortuim visit:

“The six-person delegation of the U.S.-DPRK Science Engagement Consortium aims to discuss and identify future opportunities for collaborative research activities with the DPRK in fields of mutual interest.

The consortium is composed of four organizations: CRDF, a nonprofit organization that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration; AAAS, the world's largest general science society; Syracuse University, which has been engaged with Kim Chaek University of Technology in Pyongyang in the only sustained U.S.- North Korea academic science collaboration to date; and The Korea Society, a nonprofit group that promotes greater awareness, understanding and cooperation between the people of the United States and Korea.”

You can read more information about the history of the U.S.-DPRK Science Engagement Consortium here.

The scientific community here in the United States has been quite active in conducting Science Diplomacy with so many countries across the globe. Nearly a year ago (December 18, 2008) I posted to IHEC Blog about an interesting development in U.S.-Iranian scientific collaboration and you can access that post entitled“Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings, Tehran, Iran (2008)” here.

More on what I discovered on the American Association for Advancement of Science and the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation websites later on IHEC Blog’s Facebook page.

My question is this...with all of the international scientific collaboration happening across the globe why do we make it so difficult for students in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) to study, research or intern abroad? To me, an international academic experience should be a required part of any STEM field program of study.

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