Ambassador for Science

27 May 2016

Dr Joaquin de Navascues
Dr Joaquín de Navascués, Research Fellow at the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, has been selected to participate in the newly launched ‘Ambassadors for Science’ programme which pairs up Spanish scientists working in the UK with Spanish diplomats.

Ambassadors for Science” is a scheme organised by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), and the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Embassy of Spain in London, in collaboration with the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU).

The objective of the programme is to bring together scientists and diplomats to increase their understanding of each other’s work and enable them to find common interests that could help to promote the development of better science diplomacy.

Dr de Navascués has been paired with Mr. Fernando Villalonga who is Counsellor for Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Spanish Embassy in London.

The programme launched earlier this month and Dr de Navascués travelled to London for an introductory seminar on Spanish diplomatic action. At the same time, the diplomats taking part in the programme were briefed about the performance of science at the global level, and how it is structured in both the Spanish and British national systems of Science and Technology.

For the next stage of the programme, Dr de Navascués will have the opportunity to shadow Mr Villalonga on his daily routine to learn more about what diplomatic activity involves. Mr Villalonga will also shadow Dr de Navascués for a day to gain a first-hand insight into the world of science and technology, and specifically into the innovative research that takes place at the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute.

Discussing his involvement in the programme, Dr Dr de Navascués said,

“As a Spaniard pursuing a career in the UK, I am keen to do what I can to help build connections between the two countries. This scheme is also a great opportunity to learn how academics, specifically, can help governments in their affairs, be it through science diplomacy or evidence-based policy.

I am delighted that the Embassy is also keen to raise its level of science literacy and I am looking forward to participating in the next stage of the programme.”

If the scheme is successful, the Embassy of Spain in London will look to make it an annual event, as well as expanding it to other diplomatic delegations.