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2012 The right to benefit from scientific progress and its applications

In this third report (A/HRC/20/26), the Special Rapporteur focuses on the right to enjoy the benefits scientific progress and its applications. The Special Rapporteur stresses the strong link of this right with the right to participate in cultural life, as well as other human rights. She considerers that its normative content includes (a) access by everyone without discrimination to the benefits of science and its application, including scientific knowledge; (b) opportunities for all to contribute to the scientific enterprise and freedom indispensable for scientific research; (c) participation of individuals and communities in decision-making and the related right to information; and (d) an enabling environment fostering the conservation, development and diffusion of science and technology.

The Special Rapporteur makes a number of recommendations, most of which could be implemented in a timely manner. She also recommends that further work be conducted to enhance the conceptual clarity of the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications. A robust discussion is needed, including on her proposal to adopt a public good approach to knowledge innovation and diffusion.

Questionnaire on the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications:


Member states:


English - French - Spanish

Civil society:


English - French - Spanish

Responses to the questionnaire

Public consultation on the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, 7 December 2011

Audio files

Further developments

Seminar on the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications - 3-4 October 2013, Geneva
See the report - A/HRC/26/19

Call for Advice: Revision of the UNESCO Recommendation on the Status of Scientific Researchers

Useful links