Topics: Civil Rights, Human Rights, Science, Research
The right of all people to benefit from scientific progress is spurring new research by science and human rights practitioners and informing organizations how to secure those benefits, according to presenters at a AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition Meeting, held July 27-28 in Washington.
The right to science is enshrined not only in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948, but also in Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, said Jessica Wyndham, interim director of the AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law program and a coordinator of the Science and Human Rights Coalition.
The international provision requires governments to ensure the right of everyone “to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, to conserve, develop and diffuse science, to respect the freedom indispensable for scientific research and to recognize the benefits of international contacts and cooperation in science,” Wyndham said. A total of 165 countries are party to the treaty, which the United States has signed but not ratified.
The right to science is the subject of a new report, “Giving Meaning to the Right to Science: A Global and Multidisciplin...,” developed by AAAS’ Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program and Science and Human Rights Coalition and released in conjunction with the meeting. The report can provide “a foundation for a shared understanding of the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications,” said Margaret Weigers Vitullo, director of academic and professional affairs at the American Sociological Association.
Human Rights Coalition Deepens Understanding of the Right to Science, Andrea Korte, AAAS