World Science Day for Peace and Development

Science, a Human Right

Celebrated every 10 November, World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the important role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. It also underlines the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives.

By linking science more closely with society, World Science Day for Peace and Development aims to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It also underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.

The theme for 2018 is “Science, a Human Right”, in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 27), and of the Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers. Recalling that everyone has a right to participate in and benefit from science, it will serve to spark a global discussion on ways to improve access to science and to the benefits of science for sustainable development.
Join the conversation with the hashtags #ScienceDay and #RightToScience

What UNESCO does for science for peace and development

science for a sustainable future

UNESCO Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers

science, policy and society

supporting refugee researchers

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2018 theme: Science, a Human Right

In 2018, the World Science Day for peace and Development will focus on the theme “Science, a Human Right” in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 27), and of the Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers. Recalling that everyone has a right to participate in and benefit from science, it will serve to spark a global discussion on ways to improve access to science and to the benefits of science for sustainable development.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected. Article 27 states that:

(1) 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.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

The UNESCO Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers is an important standard-setting instrument which not only codifies the goals and value systems by which science operates, but also emphasizes that these need to be supported and protected if science is to flourish. A first Recommendation was adopted in 1974, and a revised Recommendation was adopted on 13 November 2017, superseding the 1974 text. This Recommendation has a particular value today, including for developing countries in building up their scientific skills and institutions.

The Recommendation upholds the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – that everyone has the right  to participate in and benefit from science – and provides a useful checklist of political and institutional requirements to ensure access to science education, and fundamental rights such as the right to be a scientists, to protect intellectual property, to share scientific advancements and accademic freedom.

Message By the Director-General

“The astonishing progress made by science in recent decades has changed our lives. Science and its countless applications now condition all aspects of human life. The resulting innovations are an opportunity for the development of our societies. They are improving our well-being, facilitating daily life and pushing back borders that seemed immutable in the fields of medicine, transportation, communication and knowledge-sharing. They are an engine of growth and wealth.
However, because science today is the beneficiary of the human intellect which has been seeking, exploring and inventing for centuries and millennia, it belongs to all humankind, it is a common good whose fruits must be of benefit to all.”

— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO
Message on the occasion of World Science Day for Peace and Development 2018

Message from HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, UNESCO Special envoy for Science for Peace

“Science is our best hope for a bright and equitable future. The challenges are grave, and we must all work together to tackle them. We must share our knowledge and support one another so that we may realize our full protential as a human family.”
— HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, UNESCO Special envoy for Science for Peace

Resources

POSTER

The image chosen for the poster is a scientific photograph, an part of an exhibition that draws paralels between such images and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
At first glance, this could be a coastline, seen from a satellite or a drone. It is in fact a drop of water containing millions of micro-particles in suspension, which is drying before our eyes and observed through a binocular microscope. This coastal impression evokes the harsh reality experienced by people who, each day, seek asylum in other countries.
The image is part of the collection of AiR – Art in Research.

EXHIBITION

This exhibition draws attention to the fundamental, natural beauty hidden in research laboratories. By revealing the invisible, playing with scales of observations, these scientific photographs bewilder and spark the imagination. They are filled with a sense of mystery, yet they expose an indisputable truth.
The exhibition links scientific photographs with some of the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as an invitation to reflect on the social dimensions of science. We hope that these images will bring to light the beauty of the pursuit of knowledge through research. These parallels were defined together with AiR – Art in Research, an art gallery dedicated to scientific photography. The exhibit is visible on the UNESCO gates, 125 avenue de Suffren, Paris, France.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • The success of the World Science Day for Peace and Development will depend on the active involvement of many partners such as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, scientific and research institutions, professional associations, the media, science teachers and schools.

    Different activities will be undertaken to mobilize support for the objectives of the World Science Day for Peace and Development.

BACKGROUND

From the universe expanding to the phones in our pockets, science is everywhere. Each year, on 10 November, the World Science day for Peace and Development helps us remember this fact and offers an opportunity for everyone to engage in scientific debates and activities.

The Day marks an occasion to mobilize all actors around the topic of science for peace and development – from government officials to the media to school pupils. By linking science more closely with society, science is made accessible to all and broadens our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home. It becomes also a more solid stepping-stone towards making our societies more sustainable.

Since its proclamation by UNESCO in 2001, World Science Day for Peace and Development has generated many concrete projects, programmes and funding for science around the world. The Day has also helped foster cooperation between scientists living in regions marred by conflict, one example being the UNESCO-supported creation of the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization (IPSO).

The objectives of World Science Day for Peace and Development are to:

  • Strengthen public awareness on the role of science for peaceful and sustainable societies;
  • Promote national and international solidarity for shared science between countries;
  • Renew national and international commitment for the use of science for the benefit of societies;
  • Draw attention to the challenges faced by science and raising support for the scientific endeavour