Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ From the Right to Science as an epistemic-cultural human right to the Right to Expertise

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

The U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) is well known for declaring in article 27 that everyone has the right to an education. But it is worth noting that in the following article it also says "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." These also are rights related to education, and in particular, as culture, arts and science can be employed in the service of education. This interpretation might be thought of as an "epistemic-cultural" human right, that is, a right concerning scientific knowledge as a part of wider cultural practices, including education. Now we might read this as just meaning "sharing the benefits", but a wider (and more correct) reading could be "sharing the expertise". You can't just deny people access to the findings of science, to methods of scientific research, to the ability to engage in scientific reasoning for oneself, and to be a part of a global scientific community where "their knowledge claims and their underpinning tools and methods and practices travel over time and across geographical regions and cultures."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 29, 2024 11:20 p.m.

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