Right to Science
The Right to Science is the core of Science for Democracy. Our international platform is committed to protect the Right to Science worldwide and to continuously update our campaigns to reach the critical issues at the forefront of the existing limitations. We believe that the Right to Science is a structural component of liberal democracies and the Rule of Law all over the world. The fulfilment of the Right to Science can be accomplished only if States respect their international obligations, and promote Right to Science in all its forms.
Science for Democracy shares the principles of the Open Science movement and believes they are indispensable for the full enjoyment of the Right to Science. Open Science asks for free and universal access to scientific research. Open Science integrates a number of aspects, which together make science open: Open Educational Resources, Open Evaluation, Open Access, Open Research Software and source, Open Data, Open Methodology, Open Collaboration. Open Science is a powerful ally to protect both scientific research and access to its benefits, where discrimination and bad scientific practice cannot find their space.
Evidence-Based Debates and Policies
We believe that Scientific Evidence must underlie the process of policymaking. Science for Democracy asks for a direct dialogue between scientists and policy-makers, where political decisions and debates should take into account the independent and free results of science. In the policymaking process, Science becomes a direct instrument of democracy, where individual political biases and interests are mitigated by the independent evidence of scientific research. While Science is not a replacement to policy-makers, it should provide the common ground on which politics starts its complex action.
Freedom of research
Science for Democracy defends Freedom of Research, as a key component of the Right to Science. We support the freedom of researchers to choose their research topic, hypothesis, materials, methods, and to share their results and hypothesis. The quest for knowledge and understanding cannot fulfil its potential, unless free to explore the unknown, even when undesirable for ideologies and absolutisms. Science for Democracy aims to bring on the international stage the principles of Associazione Luca Coscioni and to extend its fights. All over the world, research areas such as stem cells, GMOs and psychedelics have been facing limitations and prohibitions that have nothing to do with Science and its reasons. For the good of patients and researchers, for the democratic growth of paralysed societies and their well-being, we advocate for Freedom of Research worldwide.
Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights
We believe that the effective, universal and free access to sexual and reproductive health is vital for the universal enjoyment of the Right to Science, and for the concrete accomplishment of gender equality and women rights. Sexual and reproductive health is an instrument of self-determination, not only a form of health care practice. The right of safe abortion, pregnancy and childbirth, safe sex from infective diseases, the right to be protected from sexual violence, are necessary instruments to guarantee the universal freedom of people to have a ‘responsible, satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to have children and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so.’ (from WHO Europe).
Environment and biotechnologies
Science for Democracy is committed in promoting a science-informed approach to take effective action for the protection of the environment. Over the years, in the name of environmental protection, national and international governance have built campaigns and directed public opinion against a common enemy, GMOs, while avoiding to face other major issues such as biodiversity, typical plantations, farmers rights etc. In more recent years, the same destiny of GMOs is affecting new technologies such as CRISPR-Cas genome editing. We believe that the scientific-based use and research of biotechnologies is a strategic tool for the protection of the environment, and the well-being of its inhabitants, especially in the context of the current climate crisis. Moreover, biotechnologies can particularly benefit countries that have been so far excluded from the lead of the international dialogue.
We advocate for the freedom of research and practice with controlled substances. Science for Democracy believes that any discussion about drugs and related issues should be based on scientific evidence and that drug policy should be based on the protection of human rights. The war against drugs has caused a global-level escalation in controlled substances’ illegal production, consumption, trafficking and criminal organisations power. At the same time, restrictions and prohibitions to research on controlled substances is preventing the progress of science, the improvement of human knowledge and understanding, and the possibility for millions of people to benefit from them. We pushed for international and national policies that take into account an extensive and comprehensive body of scientific evidence, where ideologies and cultural biases do not predominate over the protection of human rights.