Thursday, July 23, 2009

I doubt anyone will beep you at the opera

…but if you’re a scientist you can be on-call for human rights!

“On-call” Scientists

are experts from all scientific fields and disciplines who are ready to contribute their time and expertise to the challenges faced by organizations that promote, monitor, and protect human rights throughout the world.

Through “On-call” Scientists, the AAAS Science and Human Rights Program (SHRP) seeks to encourage greater engagement of scientists in human rights efforts and to raise greater awareness within the human rights community of the specific tools, expertise, and other resources that scientists can bring to their work.

From its inception, SHRP has called attention to the wealth of specialized knowledge that scientists can bring to the range of technical and substantive issues critical to conducting human rights work. SHRP projects have included geneticists developing DNA analysis to identify the children of the “disappeared” in Argentina, anthropologists and forensic specialists examining the remains of victims of mass killings, statisticians analyzing the extent of violence against and displacement of civilians during war, and geographers using high tech mapping tools to document destruction of villages and mass displacement. Through these pioneering efforts, SHRP has developed extensive experience in bringing scientists, and their expertise and tools, to human rights work.

Here’s a short piece about the program in Nature (scroll down).

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