IIASA is taking a leading role in promoting science diplomacy and fostering debates about how science can help build trust between nations and support foreign policies.

IIASA was established in 1972 with the aim to use scientific cooperation to build bridges across the Cold War divide and to jointly confront growing problems on an international scale. This was the result of US President Lyndon B. Johnson initiative to create such an international research organization, which found support from Soviet Prime Minister Alexey Kosygin. Negotiations took several years and led to the signature of IIASA Charter in London in 1972 by twelve founding National Member Organizations from Bulgaria, Canada, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, UK, USA, USSR and West Germany. 

When the Cold War ended, IIASA broadened its mandate to achieve a greater global mandate. Today it continues to successfully provide scientific insight to policymakers worldwide by finding solutions to global problems through applied systems analysis. Building on its strengths, and within its overall research framework, IIASA delivers impact globally and to its member countries by helping them to strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations through science diplomacy and through scientific input to international negotiations. 

With global problems becoming more complex and the world more divided, the concept of science diplomacy gained new traction. Science diplomacy is seen as a tool to foster relations between nations and as scientific support to foreign policies. Science diplomacy helps to ensure that foreign policies, as well as global policy efforts, remain informed by scientific evidence.


Purple еarth globe surrounded by people. Cooperation of people at the world level. Solving global problem challenges.

04 July 2022

IIASA joins the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance

We are delighted to announce that IIASA has been accepted as a full member of the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance, a collaborative initiative launched under the auspices of several Horizon 2020 science diplomacy projects, to sustain and grow their networks, impact, and momentum.

09 June 2022

IIASA Director General awarded highest honor by the International Science Council

The International Science Council (ISC) has appointed IIASA Director General Albert van Jaarsveld as a Foundation Fellow in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the role of science as a global public good.
Circle of wooden figures surrounds the Earth globe. Global world communication concept. Science education, diplomacy, business.

20 April 2022

Pleas for peace: the urgent need for more diplomacy and science diplomacy efforts in Ukraine

For the future of humanity, nations must make every effort to find a diplomatic road to peace in Ukraine, and the West should maintain its critical links with Russian science, according to two letters signed by the IIASA Director General.


29 November 2022 College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, College Park, MD, USA

IIASA Scientists at the Fifteenth IAMC Annual Meeting 2022

08 November 2022 IPCC Pavilion at COP27 and Online

IIASA scientists at the IPCC outreach program at COP27


11 June 2022

Systems of understanding - building a network of science diplomacy

Options Magazine, Summer 2022: As it forges the links of systems science, IIASA can also help to connect the world in a network of science diplomacy.

10 June 2022

Advancing systems science across the globe

Options Magazine, Summer 2022: In the last decade, IIASA has helped to establish several systems analysis research centres worldwide, partnering with local researchers from East to West and North to South to advance the discipline.
Advancing systems science across the globe

03 March 2022

Vienna as a global hub for science diplomacy

In November 2019, IIASA cohosted the annual global meeting of science advisors to ministers of foreign affairs and other experts to discuss pressing issues in science diplomacy.