International History and Politics
25 August 2020


As part of their Applied Research Seminar, students of the International History Department partnered with CERN for research on multilateral diplomacy.

The Graduate Institute’s International History Department conducts annually an Applied Research Seminar (ARS) for Masters students to explore how to make their research findings accessible to a wide audience through podcasting. 

Three master students in International History, Maëlys Glück, Luc Léon André Poveromo and José Octavio Figueroa Ramirez, led this project in 2019-2020 under the academic guidance of Professor Davide Rodogno. The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) provided the content and assured the expert supervision. The students conducted interviews with experts Rolf Heuer, Maurizio Bona and Csaba Kőrösi and produced the podcast.

The research project that the team worked on was a partnership with CERN and dealt with the organisation’s involvement in multilateral diplomacy through its obtention of the United Nations Observer Status in 2012. The findings reveal that the path for scientific institutions to become involved in diplomacy is one that requires both political actors and scientists to be understanding of different mindsets in order to reach common goals (in this case, the development of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals). 

Creating a podcast which could broadcast this side of CERN’s relationship with the UN was a highly rewarding experience for the students, not only in terms of gaining technical production skills, but also because it showed them way of synthesising research that was different from the usual format of academic papers. On more than one occasion, the students indicate, it was a creative challenge to reconcile typical academic standards with more creative inputs that were needed for the project to stand as a successful communication tool.


Listen to the podcast here.