UK's Straw urges collaboration

Science is wrapped up in foreign affairs, says secretary of state in visit to US

Eugene Russo(erusso@the-scientist.com)
May 13, 2004

WASHINGTON D.C.— UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Governmental Affairs Jack Straw suggested yesterday (May 13) that despite growing concerns by scientific groups, the apparent drop—estimated at 32% since last year—in the number of foreign graduate applicants in the U.S. is a “temporary phenomenon,” based on a relatively high baseline.

Speaking yesterday at Howard University, Straw said that each country must balance security and accessibility issues on its own, and emphasized the importance of collaborations. US-UK projects like biometrics, vaccinations, and border security are of particular interest of late, he said. Regarding the developing world, Straw referenced the newly established “African Commission” in the UK, which has been set up to assess the continent's economic issues, education, health, environment, and HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Straw said that science and technology flourish best in democracies and called attention to the increasingly important links between diplomacy, foreign policy, science, and technology....

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