Coalition Meets to Discuss “Human Rights in STEM Education”

February 16, 2018

The AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition hosted on January, 25-26, 2018, a meeting focused on “Human Rights in STEM Education.” The coalition, founded in 2009, aims to connect scientists and human rights practitioners, so that scientific evidence and methods can be used to inform human rights issues around the world.

Rush Holt, AAAS CEO, kicked off the meeting with a reminder of Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts, and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.” Holt stressed that science is integral to providing people with basic necessities and improving their lives, and that human rights itself can be taught and addressed in an evidence-based way.

The January 2018 meeting included several plenary sessions and group discussions. Participants explored the challenges of, and models for, integrating human rights into STEM education. In addition, participants examined what human rights education practices can offer STEM education.

The keynote speech was given by Juan Gilbert, who leads the Human Experience Research Lab out of the University of Florida. With a background in computer science, Gilbert’s research attempts to use technology to address widespread and pressing societal issues, such as affirmative action, voter accessibility, traffic stop procedures, and gun violence. His message to researchers is that science can and should be used to make changes in society.

Recordings from the meeting can be found on the AAAS website.