WASHINGTON—In many areas of science or technology—from climate changes to new manufacturing technology—the lines between science and foreign policy blur and sometimes disappear.

“Things that used to be domestic aren’t any more,” said Robert W. Rycroft, deputy director of the graduate program in science, technology and public policy at George Washington University and an associate professor of public affairs and political science. “There are severe international dimensions to all these issues.”

In July the National Science Foundation and the State Department sponsored a two-week workshop in science, technology and foreign policy for those who operate where those worlds overlap. The scientists who donated their time and expertise offered an overview of the science, but spent most of their time describing how that knowledge fits into the puzzle of international affairs.

“I made a statement about the scientific issues and problems of climate change, but I was more concerned with the...

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