Thank you
Vaughan Turekian’s final words as editor-in-chief of Science & Diplomacy: thank you. Credit: Istock/ivosar

Thank You

U.S. Department of State Americas

For the last time, I have the pleasure of penning the lead editorial as the editor-in-chief for this journal. This month I will start a new journey as the science and technology adviser to the U.S. secretary of state.  I look forward to the opportunity to work with a dedicated group of professionals and to build on the amazing work of my four predecessors, all of whom have taken their turn to help better link science and technology to foreign policy. As we move deeper into this still young century it is becoming ever more obvious that some of the most important drivers of international relations link to science and its applications. Whether it be promoting economic growth and innovation at a global scale, responding to global pandemics, balancing ecosystem health with access to energy, or dealing with the proliferation of the most dangerous weapons, science and scientists are critical protagonists.  

And so I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to go to the Department of State and to work on so many interesting and challenging issues. But it is not without a bit of sadness that I leave this wonderful institution, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, publisher of Science & Diplomacy) and the amazing group of colleagues here who have helped us build a program in science diplomacy that has provided a place for those interested in issues at the interface of science and international relations to generate and share ideas, and to build a community. Perhaps no single activity in the AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy has been more important to me than this journal. Over the past three and a half years, its pages have been filled with stories of individuals accomplishing great things and ideas that challenge and expand on the ways we look at science, diplomacy, or both.

This journal has also provided me an excuse to think about major life events through the lens of my own career in science diplomacy. Through writing, I was able to articulate the important links that science and diplomacy had in such life altering events as the birth of my son with a congenital heart conditionthe passing of my father, and the rite of passage in watching my older child commence on her school career.

And while my name has often been the one appearing in the editorials or at the top of the masthead, the reality is that my tenure as editor-in-chief has been blessed by the honor of working with an incredible and passionate team. Tom Wang served as my alter ego, ensuring that the direction of the journal was always being evaluated and improved. Caitlin Jennings has worked tirelessly to make sure that we developed a high quality product in a timely fashion, while also working to make sure that we reached the broadest possible audience. Our numerous volunteer reviewers have supplied thoughtful insights and provided invaluable advice on how to improve the quality or relevance of pieces, as have my numerous AAAS colleagues. Our senior advisory board, led by Norman Neureiter, has worked to provide a broad perspective and advice on issues that might need more attention and places where the journal might consider expanding its scope.

In the coming months this journal will undergo an important transition, one that will hopefully make it even more responsive to the needs of the ever growing community of science diplomats. One of the more exciting steps is that this journal will have a new leader. William Colglazier has agreed to serve as my successor at Science & Diplomacy. His years of experience as an academic, as the executive director of the U.S. National Research Council, and as the most recent science and technology adviser to the secretary of state, provides him with the knowledge, passion, and experience, to chart a course for this journal in the years to come.

Looking over the things we have been able to do and the relationship with our readers that we have developed over the past few years, it is with great pride that my final words as editor-in-chief are, simply, thank you.

Diplomacy for Science Mechanisms National Approaches Science for Diplomacy Science in Diplomacy September 2015