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AAAS Science, Technology and Human Rights Conference 2019: Program

This three-day conference brings together human rights leaders from around the world, academic researchers across different disciplines, scientists and engineers who work in private industry, government officials, members of impacted and vulnerable communities, and students in science, engineering, human rights, health and law. Together we will take stock of progress made towards building effective partnerships between the scientific community and human rights communities, share lessons learned, and develop collaborative, multidisciplinary approaches to the most urgent human rights challenges ahead of us.

Friday, October 25, 2019


Executive Directors' Circle Breakfast

(Invitation Only) | (12th Floor Boardroom)

Sponsored by the American Chemical Society

If you are a member of the Executive Directors’ Circle, please see the security desk upon your arrival to pick up a security badge. A badge is necessary to access the 12th floor.



(Second Floor Lobby)


Featured Speaker

Finding today's slaves: statistics in the fight against modern slavery


Davina Durgana

Davina Durgana, Senior Research Analyst, Walk Free Foundation


Predicting the Location of Hidden Graves in Mexico Using Machine Learning Models


The Human Rights Data Analysis Group, in collaboration with partners Data Cívica and the Human Rights Center of the Iberoamericana University, has created a machine-learning model to predict which counties in Mexico have the highest probability of unreported hidden graves. The predictions help advocates to bring public attention and government resources to search for the disappeared in the places where they are most likely to be found. The model helps groups of families of the disappeared to shape their search strategies and provides a new kind of language -- data and probabilities -- that human rights groups can use in their advocacy demanding that state officials pursue justice. In addition to analyzing our model's strengths and weaknesses, this session will offer an analysis of machine learning models in general. Panelists will explore why so many applications of machine learning are socially harmful, and the questions to ask to determine if an application has the potential for a positive outcome. They will present a case study as a template for how these models could be applied in other political and informational contexts.

Patrick Ball, Director of Research, Human Rights Data Analysis Group
Kristian Lum, Lead Statistician, Human Rights Data Analysis Group
Mónica Meltis, Executive Director, Data Cívica
Jorge Ruiz Reyes, Researcher, Human Rights Program, Universidad Iberoamericana



(Second Floor Lobby)


Realizing the Right to Science: Progress and Next Steps


Since the Science and Human Rights Coalition’s launch in 2009, it has carried out research and activities to advance the international right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications. Panelists will provide an overview of the progress made in the last decade, share examples of scientists using the right to science to frame their research, and identify future priorities for collaborative action.

Margaret Weigers Vitullo, Deputy Director, American Sociological Association
Jessica Wyndham, Director, AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program


Closing Remarks



Coalition Council Lunch

(Council Members Only)


Coalition Council Meeting

(Council Members Only)


Council Meeting Adjourns