29 May 2020

Helle Porsdam discusses the right to science in Human Rights Quarterly

Frontpage for the journal Human Rights Quarterly

Is there a human right to science (RtS)?

According to Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) from 1948, everyone has the right “to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.” Likewise, the 1966 International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) recognizes the right of everyone “to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications” in Article 15(1)(b).

Professor Helle Porsdam and her co-authors take these articles as their point of departure in ”’Sleeping…”, which has just been published in Human Rights Quarterly:

Sebastian Porsdam Mann, Helle Porsdam and Yvonne Donders, “’Sleeping beauty’: the Human Right to Science.” Human Rights Quarterly, 42 No. 2 (2020), pp. 332-356 · DOI: 10.1353/hrq.2020.0020

They argue that there is great potential in the RtS. Interacting in all sorts of ways with economic, political, social, and military interests, scientific research is more global than ever today. Taking this particular right seriously gives us a forum and a global ethical discourse in which to tackle urgent and difficult issues. Sustainable development and climate change constitute global challenges, for example, that involve science in various ways and that can only be addressed through a global discourse.