The ETH Zurich and the University of Geneva (Unige) establish an interdisciplinary research center for science in diplomacy in Geneva. This should provide insights and methods for the diplomatic solution of international conflicts and for dealing with global challenges such as health and climate change.
The Lab for Science in Diplomacy (SiDlab) deals with two disciplines: The first is “negotiation engineering”.
It carries out the scientification of negotiations and conflict analysis and will help solve complex negotiation problems using quantitative methods such as mathematical optimization, game theory and statistics. The chair for this is based at the ETH.
The second area is computer diplomacy. It encompasses all data science based on machine learning and, on the other hand, data categorization in complexity theories and global studies. It helps, for example, to identify fake news and to ensure reliable data.
This area was developed by the Department of Computer Science of the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the unit together with the Global Studies Institute (GSI); the associated chair is located at the university.
The joint project was led in 2019 by Micheline Calmy-Rey, then visiting professor at GSI, and Michael Ambühl, professor of negotiation and conflict management at ETH Zurich. It is supported by the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (Gesda) foundation, as the ETH announced on Friday. International organizations based in Geneva are also involved.
According to Gesda chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, science-based diplomacy – with negotiation engineering and computer diplomacy – is a key future issue. “That is why we are proud to be involved as a partner of ETH Zurich and the University of Geneva in founding their joint Lab for Science in Diplomacy”.
Gesda 2019 was called on by the federal government, the canton and the city of Geneva who have decided to invest millions of francs to identify future scientific challenges and to translate them into solutions for society. Several hundred politicians, scientists and representatives of the private sector and non-governmental organizations are currently meeting for their first summit in Geneva.
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