Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits” (UN, 1948, p. 7). In November 2017, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) unanimously adopted the Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers, which replaced the former recommendation of 1974.

This Recommendation includes a stronger link between science and society and aims to ensure that research outcomes can best support sustainable development and a more just world. Many new components of this revised Recommendation are related to Human Rights issues including open access to data, equal capacity for people to participate in any research, and the ability for people to know about the results of research. UNESCO has invited countries to work with their own constituencies to define ways to have these principles implemented and gradually reported on every four years.

On December 10, 2018, the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and National Day of Human Rights, Brock University invited its community to initiate this discussion on “Science: A Human Right.” This was the occasion to access the views of graduate students and researchers. But what about members of the community? Are they aware of the Declaration and the Recommendation? Do they know and understand their rights? Do they have ideas on how research should be communicated, and knowledge transferred from research done in universities and colleges? What are the needs?


Liette Vasseur, Brock University

UNESCO Chair in Community Sustainability: From Local to Global


Christine Daigle, Brock University Posthumanism Research Institute

Liette Vasseur, Brock University

Vasseur is a full professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University where she is a member of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre. She holds the UNESCO Chair on Community Sustainability. Her research is interdisciplinary and links issues such as community-based ecosystem management, climate change adaptation and resilience, and sustainable agriculture. Her climate change adaptation research program encompasses different ecosystems from rural community of Lincoln, and indigenous communities of san Juan, in the Chimborazo, Ecuador, and Innu communities in Sept-Iles and further north in collaboration with AMIK. She is President of the Canadian Commission UNESCO and vice-chair for North America and leader of the thematic group on ecosystem governance of the Commission for Ecosystem Management – IUCN.

Christine Daigle, Brock University

Daigle is a full professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Director of the Posthumanism Research Institute. She is a core member of the PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities program, the Masters program in Sustainability, Science, and Society, and the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre. Her current federally funded research pertains to posthuman vulnerability. She is articulating a reconceptualization of the human being from a material feminist point of view as radically embodied, entangled, and thereby vulnerable. In relation to this, she explores the environmental interconnection of all beings and the particular vulnerabilities, and ethical potential, this entails. She proposes that we need to revisit such concepts as sustainability and has a strong interest in extinction studies.

Rodney C. Haring, PhD, MSW

Rodney C. Haring, PhD, MSW is research faculty at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Office of Community Outreach and Engagement, Department of Cancer Prevention and Control.  He is also a research professor at the Native American Research and Training Center, Family and Community Medicine, University of Arizona and held fellowships at the National Congress of American Indians and the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Haring (Beaver Clan) is an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians and resides on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation (NY). He holds a doctoral degree in social work with over 15 years of social work practice and recently held an at-large appointment on the US Department of Health and Human Services American Indian/Alaska Native Health Research Advisory Council. He is also the lead delegate for the historic MoU between Rowell Park and Indian Health Services with the common mission of addressing health burdens in Indigenous communities.  He served as an expert panel member to the United States Department of Education, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy—Executive Office to the President.  In 2017 he was awarded an Impact Award by the National Indian Health Board. His research interests intersect eliminating disparities and encouraging resiliencies within First Nations and Indigenous societies.

Patric Robson, Niagara College

Patrick Robson holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Urban & Regional Planning from Ryerson and a Master of Arts in Politics from Brock University. He is also a Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and a Registered Professional Planner (Ontario). He is a Professor in the Environmental Management & Assessment post-grad program at Niagara College.

In March 2017, he was appointed to the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (a.k.a. Peace Bridge Authority). His past work life has included private sector planning consultant work, a planner with the Niagara Escarpment Commission, an investigator with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and several progressive positions at Niagara Region, including Commissioner of Integrated Community Planning, and served three terms as a Councillor in Wainfleet, Ontario.

Meredith DeCock,Brock University 

Meredith DeCock is a Master of Sustainability Candidate in the Sustainability Science and Society program at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. She obtained her BSc in Environmental Sciences at the University of Calgary. Meredith worked as an Environmental Scientist in Calgary, Alberta for nearly five years. At Brock, she is part of a research team working on a climate change adaptation project seeking to co-generate adaptation strategies with the Town of Lincoln, Ontario. Her research focusses on visualizing the evolution of the shoreline as a knowledge mobilization tool to increase community engagement and action.

Aniqah Zowmi, Brock University/ Youth Advisory Group to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

Aniqah Zowmi has a passion for mainstreaming diversity and inclusion at all levels of government and civic organization. She is currently a Regional Focal Point for the United Nations Major Group of Children and Youth (MGCY), Member of the Youth Advisory Group to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) and is serving a term as the Unspoken Smiles Representative to the United Nations Department of Global Communications Youth Representatives Steering Committee.

Zowmi was a Lead Author for the UNESCO publication, a Youth-Led Guide on Preventing Violent Extremism through Education. Zowmi is pursuing a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity Studies at Brock University, researching the intersection between social enterprise and feminist and anti-colonialist theory.