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Human Development &
Capability Association

Agency, Well-Being and Justice

The right to science | UN general comment | Ideas for collaboration

On the 7th of April the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has published the final comment on the social, economic and cultural rights that the committee has the mandate to monitor (here, see ‘recent events and development’: ). With a group of colleagues from US- and UK-based universities among others we have established an independent association called Science for Democracy that monitors the implementation of the so-called ‘right to science’ (the abbreviated form of the rights under discussion) in the signatory countries and beyond. Among other initiatives, our association contributes to the World Congress for the Freedom of Scientific Research and to the publication of the respective Index (here: ).

The current pandemic is giving us additional impulse to promote a more visible and prominent debate on the ‘right to science’ as human right: a right that, we feel, matters today possibly more than it did so far. The link between this right and human development is self-evident I think – and as such it is explicitly mentioned on our website ( )

This email is meant to inform you about two initiatives, in order of importance 1) our APPEAL FOR A GLOBAL SYSTEM OF QUICK RESPONSE TO PANDEMICS AND THE RIGHT TO SCIENCE, which I invite you to support, and 2) a first ‘research agenda’ on the right to science and human development, which I hope to disseminate in the form of a journal article soon. I would like to involve as many co-authors possible in it so to expand the scope of the article to different disciplines. Please write me in case you’re interested in the idea (in case, here’s a first useful reading: ).

For discussing the appeal and other possible initiatives we plan to organize a Zoom call– please contact me in case you want to join and ‘meet us’ online. I hope some of you will: we need bright minds willing to spend some of their time in promoting the ‘right to science’ beyond standard academic activities. We feel the responsibility to do it, and to do it now. We’ll be glad to tell you more. Claudia Basta:

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