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Protecting and Promoting the Human Rights of Scientists, Scholars, and Students Around the World

a congressional briefing

Pictures from the Briefing

Above left (left to right): The panel included moderator Theresa Harris, JD, Rebecca Everly, JD, PhD, Robert Quinn, JD, Eugene Chudnovsky, PhD, and Teng Biao, PhD. Not pictured: Panelist Olga Hünler, PhD. Above right: Michael Payne, the Advocacy Officer with Physicians for Human Rights, asked a question of the panelists during the question-and-answer portion of the event.

On Friday, March 22, 2019, SPSSI co-sponsored a congressional briefing in partnership with several other scientific societies and human rights organizations, including: the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the American Psychological Association, the Committee of Concerned Scientists, the Scholars at Risk Network, and Lehman College. The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the U.S. Helsinki Commission) served as Honorary Host of the event.

The topic of the briefing—Protecting and Promoting the Human Rights of Scientists, Scholars, and Students Around the World—is an important one, as thousands of scientists, scholars, and students are killed, imprisoned, attacked, or threatened around the world each year because of what they teach, write, or say. As noted in Free to Think 2018, a report of the Scholars at Risk Academic Freedom Monitoring Project, such attacks undermine higher education systems and stifle everyone’s space to think, question, and share ideas freely.

The briefing was moderated by Theresa Harris, JD (Project Director, Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program, American Association for the Advancement of Science) and included presentations by: Rebecca Everly, JD, PhD (Director, Committee on Human Rights, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine); Robert Quinn, JD (Founding Executive Director, the Scholars at Risk Network); Olga Hünler, PhD (Department for Anthropology and Cultural Research, University of Bremen); Eugene Chudnovsky, PhD (Co-Chair, Committee of Concerned Scientists; Distinguished Professor of Physics, Lehman College); and Teng Biao, PhD (Visiting Scholar, U.S.-Asia Law Institute, New York University; Researcher, Institute for China's Democratic Transition).

SPSSI live-streamed the briefing on Facebook. To watch a recording of the live-stream, please visit SPSSI's YouTube page.

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