Maria Leptin, President of the European Research Council, participated in a discussion about maintaining global scientific collaboration at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, where she made comments highlighting that international scientific cooperation must remain reciprocal.
In her comments, she indicated that countries which undermine this reciprocity and trust by sending large amounts of graduate students to other countries, while not give research and knowledge by similar means in return risk being cut off from global scientific cooperation.
The role of science as a geopolitical soft power tool became increasingly evident in the last few months, after numerous countries and institutions cut ties with Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. ERC president Leptin’s words echo the importance of science in global politics.
However, despite the strong comments, the ERC remains committed to international research cooperation, as Leptin’s participation in and contributions at last month’s “From a European to a Global Green Deal” conference, co-organised by the STOA panel and the STS forum, show. During this international conference, she encouraged colleagues around the globe to cooperate with the ERC while emphasizing the importance of fundamental research.