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The Pervasive Role of Science, Technology, and Health in Foreign Policy: Imperatives for the Department of State

by Committee on Science Technology Health Aspects of the Foreign Policy Agenda of the United States

Issues involving science, technology, and health (STH) have moved to the forefront of the international diplomatic agenda. Other vital issues linked to technological developments pervade longer-range foreign policy concerns. Thus, STH considerations are often central to the Department of State’s bilateral and multilateral interactions with other governments. STH aspects play a large role in discussions of such critical topics as nuclear nonproliferation, use of outer space, population growth, adequate and safe food supply, climate change, infectious diseases, energy resources, and competitiveness of industrial technologies. In addressing these issues, expert STH knowledge is essential to the anticipation and resolution of problems and to the achievement of foreign policy goals. The Department, recognizing that it requires strengthened capabilities to address such an array of topics, asked for suggestions by the National Research Council as to how it could better deal with foreign policy issues with STH content.

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