Science for Democracy was launched in 2018, in the wake of the 5th World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research: “Science for Democracy: towards the human right to science”.
A group of members of Associazione Luca Coscioni have since then dedicated themselves to promoting the right to science by stimulating a fruitful dialogue between policymakers and the scientific community worldwide.
The drafting process of the ‘General Comment on Science’ by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has been a fil rouge in the work of Science for Democracy over the last years. The activity of the platform has been devoted to raising awareness on crucial issues, which can benefit from specific mentions in the General Comment.
Ad hoc panel discussions and side-events:
- 5 March 2020, Vienna: Science for Democracy co-organised two side-events at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna: Social norms and rituals. Individual and collective self-regulation strategies in cannabis use and Human Rights Tools: Incorporating International Justice and Targeted Sanctions into Drug Policy.
- 11 November 2019: Science for Democracy, organized the seminar “Advancing Knowledge-led Development through the Right to Science in Africa Symposium” together with Associazione Luca Coscioni, and the Law Faculties of the Addis Ababa and Turin Universities to present the “Right to Science” and address its implications for a country such as Ethiopia.
- 18 October 2019: Science for Democracy organised the event “Science for the Environment: Knowledge and Action” at the House of Europe in The Hague, Netherlands. The first panel, which followed a keynote speech by Dutch MP Tom van der Lee, focused on academia and the role of scientists. The second panel focused on political action and the role of representative democracy and European Citizens’ Initiatives.
- 21 March 2019, Vienna: UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna: co-organisation of two side-events. Science in context: freedom of research and practice with controlled substances, together with MAPS, ICEERS and Associazione Luca Coscioni, and Alternative values, alternative facts: drug policy and justice as casualties in the struggle between authoritarianism and democracy, with Stop the Drug War and others.
- 9 October 2018, Geneva: participation in the general debate of the United Nations on and the “right to science”; thanks to the Permanent Representation of Italy to the UN in Geneva, organization of a side-event on ”Science for Inclusion” in partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
- 4 October 2018, Polytechnic of Bari: ‘Give CRISPR a chance’ snack. On the occasion, public speeches explained the CRISPR technology and the consequences of the 25 July 2018 ruling of the European Court of Justice. A crispr-produced rice meal was consumed by scientists to demonstrate the safety of the technique.
- 5 March 2019, Bruxelles, European Parliament: ‘Give CRISPR a chance’ snack. On the occasion, public speeches explained the CRISPR technology and the consequences of the 25 July 2018 ruling of the European Court of Justice. A crispr-produced rice meal was consumed by scientists to demonstrate the safety of the technique.
- Spring 2020: petition to the European Parliament: EU CAN DO IT – for an EU response to the Covid19, social, economic and climate crisis.
- Fall 2018: petition to the European Parliament. Science for Democracy asked that the financing of human genome editing for therapeutic purposes is included in the Horizon Europe 9th framework program.
- Spring 2019: European Parliament Elections. Submission of 11 points to candidates, including issues ranging from sexual and reproductive health rights, disability, end of life decisions, human and vegetal genome editing, to embryo research, controlled narcotics and policy evaluation processes and impact evaluation
- RSDI (The Research and Self Determination Index)
- Country Reports
World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research
- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 25-26 February 2020. In cooperation with the Commission of the African Union and thanks to the support of the Associazione Luca Coscioni, Science for Democracy has organized the 6th session of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research at the headquarters of the African Union. The meeting was dedicated to the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications.
Collaborations and external projects
- 2020, UNESCO, African Union Commission for Human Resources, Science and Technology (AU-HRST), the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA AfriCenter): Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) on Communicating Science in Africa.