Science Exchanges with Iran: Mutually Beneficial but Uncertain Future

September 8, 2017 - 12:00 pm

Atlantic Council, 1030 15th St NW (12th Floor)
Washington, DC

Science Exchanges with Iran: Mutually Beneficial but Uncertain Future

A conversation with:
David Laylin

John Limbert
Professor of Middle Eastern Studies
US Naval Academy
Glenn Schweitzer
Director, Office for Central Europe and Eurasia
The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine

Moderated by:
Barbara Slavin
Director, Future of Iran Initiative
Atlantic Council

The Atlantic Council's Future of Iran Initiative invites you to a panel discussion on US-Iran science exchanges. The discussion coincides with the publication of a new book, US-Iran Engagement in Science Engineering, and Health (2010-2016): A Resilient Program but an Uncertain Future by Glenn Schweitzer of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Over the past two decades, the Academies, in conjunction with several US universities, have identified key areas of mutual benefit, between Iran and the United States, including seismic science and engineering, conservation and the effective use of water resources, and resilient cities. Political developments in both countries, however, threaten the continuation of this important work.


The discussion will be held on Sept. 8, 2017 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Atlantic Council. The event is open to press and on the record.

On Twitter? Follow @AtlanticCouncil (or specific center name) and use #ACIran

Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator) 
Washington, DC 

This event is open to press and on the record.

VISITING THE COUNCIL: Metro and parking info 


David Laylin is a bi-cultural ecologist with extensive personal and professional ties and experience in rural Iran, both before and after the 1979 revolution. He is dedicated to promoting US-Iran scientific information exchanges leading to improved wetland conservation and water management practices. His particular focus has been the Helmand/Hirmand River dispute between Iran and Afghanistan and restoration of the Hamoun wetlands. At present, he is also facilitating the making of a comprehensive documentary on land and water management issues in the province of Khuzestan.

John Limbert is the Class of 1955 Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the US Naval Academy. During a 34-year career in the US Foreign Service, he served mostly in the Middle East and Islamic Africa and was Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.  In 2009 to 2010 he came out of retirement to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern (Iranian) Affairs. Ambassador Limbert holds a PhD from Harvard University in history and Middle Eastern studies. Before joining the Foreign Service, he taught in Iran as a Peace Corps volunteer.  Among the books he has authored are: “Iran at War with History” (Westview Press, 1987), “Shiraz in the Age of Hafez” (University of Washington Press, 2004), and “Negotiating with Iran” (US Institute of Peace, 2009).


Glenn E. Schweitzer is Director of the Office for Central Europe and Eurasia at the National Academies in Washington. A pioneer in science diplomacy, Schweitzer was the first science officer stationed at the US Embassy in Moscow from 1963 to 1966. In 1994, he was appointed the first Executive Director of the International Science and Technology Center in Moscow, an intergovernmental organization established by the US, European Community, Japanese, and Russian governments to provide support for redirection of former Soviet weapon scientists to civilian research endeavors. In 1999, Schweitzer began developing relationships with Iranian scientists and facilitating cooperation between the US National Academies and the Iranian Academies of Sciences and Medicine, a number of Iranian universities, and many other research centers throughout Iran. His book, “US-Iran Engagement in Science, Engineering, and Health (2000-2009): Opportunities, Constraints, and Impacts,” was published by the National Academies in 2010 and subsequently published in Farsi by the University of Tehran Press. His new book, “US-Iran Engagement in Science Engineering, and Health (2010-2016): A Resilient Program but an Uncertain Future,” is scheduled for publication in September 2017. Schweitzer earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering at the United States Military Academy and his master’s degree at the California Institute of Technology.