For reasons only those at the State Department and the Office of Science and Technology Policy might be able to give, there’s not been a lot said of the science envoys. Since the second group of envoys was announced last September, the two trips they have taken have seen little publicity, and none in the places where earlier visits were noted.
In any event, Dr. Alice Gast traveled to Azerbaijan in early March. Dr. Gebisa Ejeta traveled to South Africa earlier this month. There are other trips currently scheduled for Drs. Gast and Rita Colwell. They will visit countries in various parts of south Asia. It would appear, from reading the announcements of the most recent trips, that the science envoy positions are intended to be limited in duration. After all, the envoys are keeping their day jobs. So far the envoys have visited 12 countries to meet with various representatives on science, education, and partnership issues.
While it’s great to see the program continue, it would be nice to see some of the same level of attention provided in its first year.