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Scientific diplomacy

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France at the heart of the Rosetta space mission: a unique technological challenge

The Rosetta probe, an international European Space Agency (ESA) mission, is preparing to reveal the mystery of the evolution of the solar system, through analysis of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a ball of ice measuring 4km in diameter. France has been very closely involved in this project from the outset, via the French Space Agency (CNES), and represents the main contributor, alongside Germany, for a total cost of almost €1.3billion. Thanks to its extensive cooperation with all global (...)

As many countries have recently come to recognise, science has an important role to play in diplomatic action, and France’s approach has long set an example in this respect.

Although science and research cooperation has always been seen as a key component of French foreign policy, the emergence of the concept of "science diplomacy" is an opportunity for France to fine-tune its positioning by formally establishing its strategic objectives and means of action.

France must look at ways of enhancing its contribution to research in the world scientific arena, deploying a policy of innovation to support the international strategies of French firms, encouraging scientists to undertake development research and acquiring the most effective resources to meet the challenges posed by global public goods.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) works at interministerial level, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESR), to ensure the consistency of France’s action, and devotes all the resources of its diplomatic network to enhancing France’s attractiveness.

Update : april 2013

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