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Realizing the Right to Science: Progress and Next Steps


Dr. Ali Arab, representative to the Coalition for the American Statistical Association



  • Speakers
    • Jessica Wyndham, AAAS
    • Margaret Weigers Vitullo, American Sociological Association 
  • Summary of Session
    • The format of this session included interactive components where the audience used Mentimeter to respond/react to certain questions and comments (which was an interesting activity!) followed by a report on preliminary results of a survey of members of national scientific academies on the right to science.  
  • Highlights of Focus Groups
    • Health was considered as the top choice among topics related to benefits of right to science. 
    • Access to science was considered as an important factor (funding, education, access to information and communication technologies). 
    • Funding and education were ranked highest among top 5 government actions to support the right to science. 
  • Right to Science Survey: 
    • Jessica discussed that the Coalition has been using the right to science to bridge science and human rights communities. The impetus for the survey was based in a question about the potential role of national academies in realizing the right to science.
    • Results
      • Right to science is little known (slightly more than 50% were unfamiliar with it) and perceived by many as the core to the academies' mission. 
      • Government relations is a key concern. 
      • Partners and collaborations are essential.  


Key Points/Takeaways:

  • Right to science is little known
  • Some possible next steps forward, generated collaboratively between audience and presenters, include:
    • Education on science and human rights. 
    • Engaging scientific communities and human rights groups in incubator spaces to generate collaborations organically. 
    • Establishing a value system for work in these spaces (merit reviews, tenure reviews, etc.) within science communities and academia. 
    • Work with human rights organizations to establish value in collaboration with scientists. 



  • Right to Science
  • Health
  • Education


Additional Resources: