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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math


Date: 03/11/2014 Description: Two scientists examine a vial in a science lab. © AP Image Date: 04/04/2014 Description: STEM logo 2014 (science, technology, engineering, math) - State Dept Image Date: 03/11/2014 Description: President Obama and a young male student visiting during a White House event. © AP Image

“We will harness the power of science to achieve our goals – to preserve our environment and protect our national security; to create the jobs of the future, and live longer, healthier lives.”

President Barack Obama

The Obama Administration promotes the advancement of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in American schools and universities and in government and industry.

The U.S. Department of State applies science, technology, and innovation in the conduct of foreign relations. The Department works to build international scientific cooperation that increases worldwide economic and social development and creates innovative solutions to shared global challenges.

Science, Technology, and Innovation: A Global Endeavor

In the 21st century, knowledge-based societies must work together in an increasingly interconnected world. Science and technology partnerships that the United States forms with other countries address essential issues such as sustainable economic growth, urban development, public health, climate change, environmental security, national security, and nonproliferation. The Department of State engages with foreign governments, other U.S. Government agencies, and audiences at home and abroad to tackle these challenges.

Science Diplomacy

Science, technology, and innovation advance international partnerships, stimulate economic growth, enhance energy security, and contribute to open societies. The Department of State uses science and technology cooperation to foster a global environment where invention, innovation, and industry can thrive.

America’s values of democracy, rule of law, and freedom of expression help guide collaboration in the international scientific community. They promote meritocracy, transparency, open data, sharing of information and ideas, critical thinking, and diversity of thought.

Science and technology cooperation strengthens our international relationships because these disciplines are based on values that transcend politics, languages, borders, and cultures.

Advancing American Science and Technology

To remain at the cutting edge of discovery and innovation, the next generation of American scientists must be part of the most dynamic and creative research teams and have access to the best facilities. Science and technology cooperation agreements and connections made by U.S. Embassies facilitate international scientific collaboration.

The State Department supports international educational exchange programs in science and technology, and encourages women and girls to develop STEM networks to enhance their career development opportunities.

Science, technology, and innovation are central to America’s 21st century diplomacy and vital to the Department’s efforts to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, healthy, and prosperous world.


Science, Technology, and Innovation are Fundamental to U.S. Diplomacy

The Department of State uses science and technology in Washington, DC, and in the conduct of daily work overseas. Examples include:

  • Advanced ocean mapping technology enables the Department and partners from other agencies to chart the U.S. extended continental shelf and determine U.S. maritime boundaries.
     
  • Through advanced knowledge of nuclear physics, chemistry and life sciences, and adaptation to emerging technologies, the Department makes the world safer by reducing nuclear arms and stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
     
  • Engineers cooperate to clear landmines and unexploded ordnance, consolidating peace, and setting the stage for reconstruction and development in post-conflict countries.
     
  • Engineers and technicians protect U.S. diplomats abroad by fortifying buildings and providing a range of security systems, including explosives detectors and armored vehicles.
     
  • Cyber security experts protect Department computer systems from hackers trying to compromise computer networks.
     
  • Leading-edge technology is used in producing and safe-guarding U.S. passports. More»


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