Published: 19-12-2023 10:40 | Updated: 20-12-2023 11:26

Maja Fjaestad appointed expert in one of the European Commission's science diplomacy working groups

Photo: Christian Colen CC-By SA 2.0

On 6 December, the European Commission published the names of the experts appointed to its newly established working groups on science diplomacy. Maja Fjaestad, expert coordinator at the Centre for Health Crises and affiliated to research at the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME), is one of two Swedish university researchers who will be part of the working groups. The working groups will develop a potential future European framework for science diplomacy.

Profile photo of Maja Fjaestad
Maja Fjaestad Photo: N/A

Maja Fjaestad holds a doctorate from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and has previously worked as a state secretary in health care. Her research focuses on the interaction between society and technology, values in algorithm-based decision-making/AI, and on crisis management. Especially the latter, crisis management and preparedness, is the focus of her work at the Centre for Health Crises at KI

Science diplomacy - a subject with exciting developments and challenges 

Maja is currently based in Brussels, where she will now also participate in the work of one of the EU Commission's four working groups on science diplomacy. The topic is one of the EU's priorities to strengthen Europe in the world and the Commission sees a need to improve the coordination of the work and clarify a unified approach within the Union.

– "I'm looking forward to working with people with great expertise from across the EU, and contributing my own experience from both research and policy. Science diplomacy is a multifaceted subject where exciting developments are currently taking place, while at the same time we see great challenges, not least because of the geopolitical tensions we are currently experiencing," says Maja. 

The working group Maja will be part of will pay special attention to these geopolitical challenges. The work will take place in four working groups, of which the one Maja is part of will focus on the strategic use of science diplomacy to address geopolitical challenges in a fragmented, multipolar world

Science and diplomacy working together for a possible EU framework

The idea behind the working groups is to gather expertise from both science and diplomacy, to jointly develop possible aspects for a possible future EU framework for science diplomacy. The work will be done in collaborative processes and in an innovative format, according to the European Commission's announcement of the launch of the working groups. 

There was a lot of interest in participating in the working groups and Maja was selected from among 575 applicants. The Centre for Health Crises will continue to report on the progress of her work.