Human Rights and Social Justice Resources

The National Center for Science and Civic Engagement recognizes the connections between human rights, social justice, and the education enterprise.

NCSCE and AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition

The National Center for Science and Civic Engagement is a member of the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition, a network of scientific, engineering and health membership organizations that recognize the role of science and scientists in the promotion and protection of human rights. The Coalition is devoted to:

(1) bridge-building and coordinating: both within the scientific community – among scientific associations and across disciplines – and between the scientific and human rights communities

(2) education and capacity-building, within scientific associations and within the human rights community.

The NCSCE’s membership of the Coalition creates multiple opportunities for leadership, engagement and participation in efforts at the intersections of science, technology and human rights.

  • Meetings: the Coalition meets in Washington, DC in January and July. These meetings provide an opportunity to learn about and engage in robust discussions about contemporary themes at the intersections of human rights, science and technology (e.g., climate change, water, big data), and to further the Coalition goals through project meetings, workshops, and leadership discussions. Meeting information, including video archives, is available here.
  • Projects: the Coalition is focused on getting work done, from building the capacity of human rights organizations to use scientific methods in their research, to developing teaching materials on human rights for STEM curricula, to bringing institutional change within member organizations. Current opportunities for involvement are presented on the Coalition website.


The representatives of the NCSCE to the Coalition are Eliza Jane Reilly and Karen Kashmanian Oates. You are welcome to join the Coalition as an affiliated individual. To do so, please email the Coalition Secretariat.

NCSCE Human Rights Activities

A Brief Overview of Modern Human Rights: A SENCER Backgrounder

NCSCE series on science and human rights, SENCER, October 2012

NCSCE, SENCER Newsletter, Scientific Progress and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2014)

Human Rights References

Claude, R. (2002). Science in the service of human rights. Philadelphia, Pa: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Corillon, C. (1989). The Role of Science and Scientists in Human Rights. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 506(1), pp.129-140.

Goodman, R., Jinks, D. and Woods, A. (2014). Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights. Cary: Oxford University Press.

Hoole, R. (2002). Viewpoint: Human Rights in the Engineering Curriculum. International Journal of Engineering Education, 18(6), pp.618-626.

McFarland, S. (2016). A Very Brief Overview of Modern Human Rights: A SENCER Backgrounder. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Science and Civic Engagement.

Seltzer, R. (1996). Scientists can make a difference in defending colleagues’ human rights. Chemical & Engineering News, 74(22), p.36.

Willems, G. (2006). A Comparative Approach to Human Rights Education. Education and Society, 24(2), pp.87-97.

STEM and Social Justice Think Tank at Kalamazoo

STEM and Social Justice Resources from the Arcus Center at Kalamazoo