Pierre-Bruno Ruffini, Science & Diplomacy
According to the most widely used criterion, nominal GDP, France is the seventh-largest power in the world. With 178 embassies and permanent representations, its diplomatic network is the third largest in the world. A permanent member of the UN Security Council, with a strong army, France can influence the affairs of the planet. It ranks fourth for the number of scientific Nobel Prizes and seventh in scientific publications. Finally, thanks to its culture, France ranks at the top of soft power country classifications. The country’s influence goes beyond what its economic rank, size, and population would seem to predict. But what place does science occupy in its foreign policy? France is a country that builds on science diplomacy to bridge science, technology, and foreign affairs, and devotes to it substantial financial and human resources. French science diplomacy, however, is poorly known and rarely mentioned in the literature. This article, therefore, is devoted to a brief presentation, analysis, and evaluation of the science diplomacy of France.
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