How Do You Show Science Is a Human Right?

The International Science Center and Science Museum Day 2018 (ISCSMD18) is coming up on Saturday, November 10—the third edition of this global event that unites and connects science centers and museums of all types, sizes, and locations.

This year the event will bring together an even larger coalition of regional and national science center and museum networks around the world, with the support of UNESCO, to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the planet.

Because 2018 is also the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we will focus this year on a specific theme: “Science, a Human Right.”

With renewed support from UNESCO and all the networks, this global event will again center on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the planet. Additionally, UNESCO has added the sub-theme of “global understanding,” which will help make it even easier for institutions to showcase how science is a bridge locally in our communities and internationally.

This links perfectly to what you already do each day in your organization. “Science, a Human Right” means:

  • Everybody has the right to science.
  • Freedom of research is essential for the advancement of science.
  • Sound policies are informed by science.
  • Gender equality in science is a need and a right.
  • Discrimination cannot be tolerated in the pursuit of academic careers.
  • You have the right to share your scientific findings.
  • Youth empowerment is achieved through science education.
  • Equal opportunities in science are essential.

For ISCSMD18, ASTC members can take action and show the world the ways that they are pursuing equity and inclusion in their work—in a very simple, meaningful way.

ASTC invites you, your institution, and your part of the world to join ISCSMD18 and join this collective effort to illustrate our field’s common commitment to equity and inclusion.

We have a chance to create together a unique reference tool about these efforts. If you add your organization’s dot to the interactive ISCSMD18 map, we will directly create an overview of actions in this field that many of us will be able to use for inspiration and promotion.

ISCSMD18 is a collaborative initiative of UNESCO, ASTC, and these science center networks: ASPAC, Ecsite, NAMES, NCSM, RedPOP, and SAASTEC. ASTC is strongly supporting ISCSMD18 because it is taking global issues to the local level in a significant and comprehensive way.

Choosing to focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion makes participation really easy, either by highlighting initiatives and programs you already have in place and sharing that as part of a worldwide event or even creating something new for ISCSMD18 with new partners in your community.

Whatever you choose, we hope you will share your stories on the ISCSMD website about how your ongoing science education activities are related to the SDGs. The site is an extremely valuable tool for promoting the rich diversity of programs, events, and exhibitions that take place in the world’s science centers and museums.

For more information and the ISCSMD18 toolkit, visit, and check back for additional tools, updated information on planned activities, and more new stories from the world’s science centers and museums about their activities and impact on the world.

If you have any questions, please write to me.



Walter Staveloz is ASTC’s Director of International Relations.