09:02 AM

Lecture series features insights on global developments from French, Australian diplomats

The Diplomacy Institute at University of Houston-Clear Lake is presenting a Diplomatic Lecture Series, featuring French Attache for Science and Technology Renaud Segneuric, and Australian Consul General to Houston Benson Saulo. Their lectures, to be held April 12 and 13 in the Student Services and Classroom Building, are part of the Diplomacy Institute's mission to provide exposure to diverse perspectives in international affairs to the university community.

Daniel Katz, coordinator of Programs and Curriculum in the Diplomacy Institute, said the spring lecture programs are part of a continuing commitment to enable UH-Clear Lake students to better understand the world around them. "Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the country," he said. "This programming is part of a concerted effort to increase our students' understanding of global developments."

Segneuric, who holds a doctorate and is a physicist by training, will present "Science Diplomacy 101: Life Lessons from a Scientist-Turned-Diplomat" on April 12 at 10 a.m. in the Student Services and Classroom Building, room 2311.

He said that he hoped to give students certain takeaway messages that he's collected over the years as a scientist. "It's important to be a diplomat- it doesn't need to be your job," he said. "But, going across boundaries and silos in your university or even in your family is important. We must be inclusive and learn to talk to others. In this sense, everything is better if everyone is a 'diplomat.'"

He added that diplomacy was a big jump from being a physicist. "I saw that if you want to share an important finding but you can't communicate to others, it will stay in the lab," he said. "You will not be efficient. I have realized how much scientists are untrained in communications skills. We spend a lot of time learning about microscopes and procedures, but there is a gap. And this is one of my messages to students: We need to communicate more to make science more accessible to wider audiences."

The Honorable Benson Saulo will present "Australian Diplomacy in an Evolving Indo-Pacific." Saulo is the first Indigenous person to be appointed an Australian consul-general and his remarks will focus on business, healthcare, and ways in which Australia is supporting energy transition efforts in collaboration with the U.S. as part of the "Build Back Better" initiative.

His lecture will take place on April 13 at 3 p.m. in the Student Services and Classroom Building, room 1100. Saulo will engage in a moderated question and answer session with Diplomacy Institute leadership, members of the audience, and virtual attendees on Zoom

For more information, or to register for these lectures, go online.