Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to participate in the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition Essay Competition. This essay competition was created to inspire students to explore connections between human rights and science, engineering and the health professions. Students may write on any topic at the intersection of science and/or technology with human rights.
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- The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in a degree program.
- Students may be enrolled in any discipline. Students enrolled in life science, physical science, social science, health, engineering or mathematics programs are especially encouraged to participate.
- Students may be enrolled in any accredited college or university. There is no geographic restriction.
- Submissions should be written in the form of an analytical or critical paper that raises thought-provoking questions. For example, potential essay topics might include: the applications of a scientific approach or a new technology to address specific human rights concerns; an analysis of synergies between human rights obligations and the social responsibilities of scientists, engineers and/or health professionals; or the ways in which full implementation of the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress may influence realization of other human rights. These examples are only provided to spark ideas: students are encouraged to write essays that reflect their own ideas, interests, and insights.
- Papers written for courses are eligible, but all papers must be the original, unpublished work of an individual student.
- Each student may submit only one essay.
- Entries must be submitted online through the essay competition website, which will be open from 1 April 12:00 am EDT to 30 April 11:59 pm EDT. Late submissions will not be accepted.
- Essays should be no more than 1,500 words in length.
- A complete bibliography should be included, if appropriate. The bibliography and/or footnotes will not count towards the word limit.
- Essays should be typed and double-spaced, in an easily readable font (such as Times New Roman), with 1” margins.
- All pages must include the title of the essay and page numbers.
- Submissions will be judged anonymously so please do not include any personally identifying information (name, university) in the essay document.
- Essays must be submitted in English.
Essay Judging Essays will be evaluated for:
- Writing quality and clarity;
- Analysis and reasoning;
- Originality and creativity;
- Depth of knowledge and awareness of important human rights issues and scientific challenges; and
- Compliance with the essay competition requirements. Judges for the competition will be drawn from among the representatives of AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition Member Associations, as well as Affiliated Individual members of the Coalition. Prominent scientists and engineers from outside the Coalition membership and experienced human rights advocates will also be invited to serve as judges.
Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: 1) Undergraduate student and 2) Graduate student. The winning students will be recognized at the July 2017 meeting of the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition. Winners of the competition will receive a year of membership in AAAS and a one-year subscription to Science, as well as a travel stipend to attend the Coalition’s meeting, generously provided by the AAAS-Andrew M. Sessler Fund for Science, Education, and Human Rights. Students who receive prizes will be asked to support AAAS stewardship of the Sessler Fund by providing feedback about their experience in the competition. The winning essays will be considered for publication in Professional Ethics Report, a quarterly publication of the AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program.
How to Enter
- Submit your essay through the essay competition website which will be open April 1, 2017 through April 30, 2017. Website URL will be available in 2017.
- The essay may be submitted in either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.