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Science Diplomacy Visit to Cuba Produces Historic Agreement
  • 30
  • 04
  • 2014

Science Diplomacy Visit to Cuba Produces Historic Agreement

As Treasurer of AAAS I recently joined a science delegation to Cuba at the invitation of the Cuba Academy of Science.

Our delegation included Alan I. Leshner, chief executive officer of AAAS and executive publisher of Science, Vaughan Turekian, AAAS chief international officer, Joanne Carney, director of the AAAS Office of Government Relations, as well as several others who have traveled to Cuba on earlier science diplomacy visits: Peter Agre, Nobel laureate and past president of AAAS, Mark Rasenick, professor of physiology & biophysics and psychiatry at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine, Maxmillian Angerholzer III, senior advisor and corporate secretary of the Lounsbery Foundation, and Mark Vlasic, adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center.

We reviewed science programs in Cuba and signed a memorandum of understanding for further cooperation. There is a long history of collaboration between Cuba and American scientists preceding the 1950s revolution.  Opportunities exist for productive scientific collaboration independent of issues associated with broader US-Cuba diplomatic matters.

Among many other highlights of the trip, I was able to meet with top ocean policy makers to discuss marine stewardship issues including the prospect of Cuba becoming a signatory to the Sargasso Sea protection declaration.

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