University of Connecticut

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HRI Lunchtime Seminar, Molly Land

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
12:30pm – 2:00pm

Storrs Campus
Dodd 162

Please join us for a lunchtime seminar with Professor Molly Land entitled “A Human Rights Agenda for Science and Innovation”. Admission is free and lunch will be provided by the Human Rights Institute.

This paper uses the framework of international human rights law to consider what states can and should do to promote science and innovation. Both scientific discovery and innovation (the development of new technologies) are necessary preconditions for a variety of rights as well as rights in and of themselves. The paper examines the basic components of innovation ecosystems with a particular emphasis on what national governments can do within those systems to promote science and innovation. The paper then considers the role that intellectual property can and does play in such systems, arguing that it skews innovation toward high tech, high return investments that do little to respond to the innovation and knowledge needs of the poor. Yet intellectual property is only one of many different mechanisms that states can use to promote science and innovation, and a human rights approach requires the state to use all of the tools available to it to develop appropriate responses to the public’s need for science and innovation. The paper uses established human rights principles, including new research on the meaning of equality and non-discrimination under human rights law, to explore the nature of state duties with respect to the innovation ecosystem.

Molly Land is a Professor of Law and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut School of Law and Human Rights Institute. Her research focuses on the intersection of human rights, science, technology, and innovation. Her most recent work considers the relationship between innovation systems and the international human right to benefit from scientific progress as well as the effect of new technologies on human rights fact-finding, advocacy, and enforcement. She has authored several human rights reports, including a report for the World Bank on the role of new technologies in promoting human rights, and she is currently a member of the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility with the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Lyndsay Nalbandian at

Human Rights Institute (primary), UConn Master Calendar

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