I spent the summer of 2014 working with colleagues at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) outside Vienna. I began content analysis to understand the evolution of ecosystem services discourse among conservationists, an analysis of the scale and scope of profit-driven finance actually flowing into biodiversity-related projects, and a social network analysis to map ecosystem services’ transnational network (or “epistemic community”) of practitioners.
Housed in a former Habsburg palace, IIASA was formed in 1972 by a handful of countries—most notably the United States and the USSR—to help neutralize Cold War tensions and foster international scientific cooperation. I visited as part of their summer research program for young[ish] scientists. Based on chats with some of IIASA’s longer-term personnel, there’s a book waiting to be written about this place which may or may not include certain spy agencies abusing their photocopying privileges.
I’ve enclosed a couple photos of “Science Diplomacy” in action.