Organised by Aidan Gilligan, Founder, CEO SciCom - Making Sense of Science; Member of the Governing Board of Euroscience.

High-level Topical Session on Global Drug Policy Developments European Science Open Forum (ESOF), Copenhagen
10h30 - 11h45, June 23, 2014 (
Malting Hall)

Session Description

As the world debates the ‘war on drugs’ and what to do next, this session weighs-up the global scorecard which makes pretty dim reading for some, including Brussels.  
Despite good intentions, the international drug enforcement regime has failed to reduce the use and harm caused by drugs. Most independent studies show problematic drug use increasing. This prohibitionist approach has been a mainstay of global diplomatic relations for decades, known as the ‘war on drugs’. It costs tens of billions of Euros to run. More difficult to estimate are the health and social costs associated with addiction, mass incarcerations and the emergence of a vast criminal controlled trade. The now fragile consensus around prohibition as a global framework for drug control is increasingly being questioned by reform-minded opinion leaders.

Organised by: Seema Kumar, Johnson & Johnson and Daan Du Toit, South African Department of Science and Technology; Co-organised by: Aidan Gilligan, Founder, CEO SciCom - Making Sense of Science; Member of the Governing Board of Euroscience.

Science to Business - European Science Open Forum (ESOF), Copenhagen
09h00 – 10h15, Monday 23 June 2014 (Malting Hall)

Session Description

Health is big business ‰– and a lynchpin of development-based foreign policy. This roundtable brings together global leaders in medical research from public and private sectors to discuss the best ways of working together for the benefit of people worldwide.

SciCom - Making Sense of Science

Seizing the initiative of our lifelong experiences in science diplomacy and our appointments as President of the European Group on Ethics (EGE) and UN Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS, SciCom organised a one-day, High-Level Consultation Event titled: ‘Addiction: Ethics, Integrity & The Policy-Maker’.

This engagement initiative, purposely limited to a select group of forty leading public health stakeholders, was held in Brussels at the South African Mission to the EU on Tuesday 10th June. It was preceded by a Networking Dinner from 7 pm on Monday 9th June (full programme below).  

This was the third in a thematic series looking at issues of extreme importance to the global scientific community around ‘evidence-based policy versus policy-biased evidence’.  

The first edition in 2012 examined ‘Harm Reduction Science’ and resulted in fifteen key findings and recommendations. It brought together twenty-seven eminent European, African and American-based thought-leaders from fifteen countries under the Co-Chairmanship of Professor Anne Glover, Chief Science Adviser to President Barroso and Professor Patrick Cunningham, then Irish Chief Science Adviser.

Organised by Dr Phil Mjwara, Director-General of the Department of Science and Technology, South African Ministry for Science and Technology & Co-organised by Aidan Gilligan, SciCom
Sunday 16 February, 15h00 PM – 16h30 PM, (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Annual Meeting 2014, 13-17 February, Chicago
Meeting Global Challenges: Discovery and Innovation

Session Description

A global village, an inter-connected world, a harmonious scientific community: these are some of the well-quoted end points of science diplomacy. As we strive to understand and mitigate challenges in climate change, energy and resource efficiency, health and demographic change, food security, and the digital divide, global partnerships must be built and sustained. It is not easy. Neither is a one-size-fits-all approach always the best option. Protecting difference and promoting winner-takes-all scientific competition is equally important. This high-profile session spotlights decision-makers from Brussels, Cape Town, and Washington responsible for striking this balance and influencing the largest budgets in global science.