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ASIS&T and Human Rights

The Association for Information Science and Technology recognizes the connections between human rights and information science, from the rights of information scientists to conduct their work without fear of harassment or intimidation to the responsibility to act in accordance with human rights, from the opportunities to apply information science knowledge in the service of human rights, to the need to ensure equality of opportunity in learning about information science and developing a professional career in this field.

ASIS&T and AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition

The Association for Information Science and Technology is a member of the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition, a network of scientific, engineering and health membership organizations that recognize the role of science and scientists in the promotion and protection of human rights. The Coalition is devoted to:

(1) bridge-building and coordinating, both within the scientific community – among scientific associations and across disciplines – and between the scientific and human rights communities; and

(2) education and capacity-building, within scientific associations and within the human rights community.

ASIS&T’s membership in the Coalition creates multiple opportunities for leadership, engagement and participation in efforts at the intersections of science, technology and human rights.

  • Meetings: the Coalition’s meetings provide an opportunity to learn and engage in robust discussions about contemporary themes at the intersections of human rights, science and technology (e.g., climate change, water, big data), and to further the Coalition goals through project meetings, workshops, and leadership discussions. Meeting information, including video archives, is available here.
  • Projects: the Coalition is focused on getting work done, from building the capacity of human rights organizations to use scientific methods in their research, to developing teaching materials on human rights for STEM curricula, to bringing institutional change within member organizations. Current opportunities for involvement are presented on the Coalition website.


The representative of ASIS&T to the Coalition is Toni Carbo. You are welcome to join the Coalition as an affiliated individual. To do so, please email the Coalition Secretariat.

ASIS&T Human Rights Activities

Information Ethics and Policy (IEP) Special Interest Group

International Information Issues (III) Special Interest Group

Human Rights References

Britz, J. (2008). Making the global information society good: A social justice perspective on the ethical dimensions of the global information society. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59(7), pp.1171-1183.

Capurro, R. (2005). Privacy. An Intercultural Perspective. Ethics and Information Technology, 7(1), pp.37-47.

Carbo, T. (2013). Information science & technology and human rights: ASIS&T’s participation in the AAAS science and human rights coalition*. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 40(1), pp.10-12.

Carbo, T. and Smith, M. (2008). Global information ethics: Intercultural perspectives on past and future research. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59(7), pp.1111-1123.

Himma, K. and Tavani, H. (2008). The handbook of information and computer ethics. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.

Madden, M. and Ross, A. (2009). Genocide and GIScience: Integrating Personal Narratives and Geographic Information Science to Study Human Rights. The Professional Geographer, 61(4), pp.508-526.

Mathiesen, K. (2012). The human right to internet access: A philosophical defense. International Review of Information Ethics, 18(1), pp.9-22.