Scientific Cooperation as a Bridge Across the Cold War Divide: The Case of IIASA

McDonald, A. (1998). Scientific Cooperation as a Bridge Across the Cold War Divide: The Case of IIASA. IIASA Research Report (Reprint). IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RR-99-006. Reprinted from Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 866(30):55-83

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The idea for the International Institute for Systems Analysis (IIASA) was first proposed by Lyndon Johnson in 1966 as one of several "bridge-building" initiatives between the United States and the Soviet bloc. The goal was to bring together researchers from different countries and disciplines to study problems common to advanced economies - pollution, healthcare delivery, traffic congestion, and the management of large enterprises in general. Formally non-governmental, IIASA was founded in 1972 by twelve National Member Organizations (NMOs), with political and financial support from their national governments.

The purpose of this paper is to offer lessons from IIASA that might be useful to future efforts at scientific cooperation across political divides. To that end, only those aspects of IIASA's history that the author believes hold the most lessons for such efforts will be discussed. These include the origins of the idea in 1966, the negotiations leading to IIASA's formal founding in 1972, start-up issues in the 1970s, the withdrawal of White House support in 1982, and three key important developments in 1990 - renewed White House support, the end of the Cold War, and a new research agenda for the Institute.

The paper provides an American perspective on IIASA's history, primarily because US source documents were more widely available than those from other countries. A complete and balanced history is still to be written.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Research Report (Reprint))
Research Programs: Environmentally Compatible Energy Strategies (ECS)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:10
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:36

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