Document Type



international law; scientific progress; conceptual map; Article 15(1)(b); ICESCR

Identifier Data



New York State Bar Association

Publication Source

New York International Law Review

Rights Management

© 2022 New York State Bar Association


The last generation experienced extraordinary progress in science and technology. Scientific and technological progress is now increasingly seen as essential in addressing the pressing global challenges we face as a human civilization. These advancements have led international organizations, scholars, and practitioners to pay increasing attention to the right to participate in and enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications or, as it is often referred to, “the human right to science.”

When adequately parsed, the “right to science” contains three distinct but interrelated clusters of rights (first-level rights): rights to scientific progress; rights to participate in scientific progress; and rights to benefit from scientific progress. In turn, each of these first-level clusters of rights can be further disaggregated into discrete second-level rights.

The article follows this logic. First, it presents the assumptions and methods at the foundation of the analysis. It then turns to the various rights under the broad right to science umbrella, cluster by cluster. Finally, it concludes with a general reflection on the normative content of the right and directions for further conceptual work