Since its founding in 2009, the Coalition has been a leading voice for the human right to science, which is articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights treaties but historically has been overlooked. In 2020, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights published General Comment No. 25 on the right to science. While not a perfect document, the General Comment is foundational in articulating what is necessary to translate the right to science into real-world change. As we grapple with the impacts of climate change, COVID-19, rising threats against science and scientists, and other crises, the vision of a world where everyone can “enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications” (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 15.1.b) has never been more essential.
This year’s conference featured both virtual and in-person components. In the virtual sessions, a series of Zoom Webinars spread out over the week of October 16-20, science and human rights experts helped us better understand what the right to science means and why it matters. At the in-person component at AAAS headquarters in Washington, DC October 23-24, we came together as a network of scientists and scientific organizations, reflected on impactful scientist-community collaborations, and began to identify the actions we could take.
No prior knowledge of the right to science required.
This event sought to accomplish the following:
- Build knowledge of what the right to science is and strengthen the Coalition’s abilities to act as a constituency for it in areas such as diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) and defending the rights of scholars under threat.
- Meet and network with other scientists passionate about science and human rights.
- Create cross-disciplinary working groups dedicated to advancing the right to science.
- Learn from colleagues about each other’s accomplishments, challenges, and differing approaches to advancing the right to science.
Virtual registration included access to the Zoom Webinars the week of October 16-20 and a livestream of plenary sessions from the morning of October 23. Virtual registration was free for students/early career participants.
In-person registration include both access to the virtual sessions and attendance at the panels and workshops at AAAS October 23-24.