Journal article

The 'Human Right to Science' qua right to participate in science : The participatory good of science and its human rights dimensions


  • 06.09.2023
Published in:
  • The International Journal of Human Rights. - Published online: 06 Sep 2023. - 2023, p. 1-32
English In 1948, Article 27(1) UDHR declared the right ‘to share in scientific advancement and its benefits’. Since 1966, the right has also been guaranteed by Article 15(1)(b) ICESCR as the right to ‘enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications’. This equivocation on the right’s name reveals a disagreement about the object of that right, i.e. (actively) participating in the scientific practice or (passively) ‘enjoying its fruits’ only. While the importance of participation in science has recently been emphasised, no justifications thereof have yet been provided. Drawing on considerations in human rights theory, the present article proposes an interpretation of Article 15(1)(b) ICESCR qua ‘right to participate in scientific practice and enjoy its benefits’. It starts with an account of the genesis of the right. Second, it argues that science is best approached as a ‘participatory good’, both from the perspective of the philosophy of science and of other rights guaranteed by the ICESCR. Third, the article spells out the participatory dimensions of the human right to participate in science including its ‘collective’ dimensions. Finally, the article explores three institutional implications of the proposed participatory interpretation of the right, both domestically and internationally.
Faculté de droit
Département de droit international et droit commercial
  • English
Law, jurisprudence
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