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AAAS: Use Science to Boost Human Rights

Bridget M. Kuehn
JAMA. 2009;302(5):480-481. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1110.
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After launching some new initiatives using scientific technology and expertise in the service of human rights, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is stepping up its efforts in the area by recruiting individual scientists and health care workers, as well as professional or scientific organizations, to join its efforts.

On June 24, the AAAS hosted a webcast highlighting the organization's human rights efforts and urged individuals and science-related organizations to join the initiatives. Among these activities are an effort to use satellite and other geographic imaging technology to monitor and document human rights violations in remote or difficult-to-reach regions, a coalition bringing together scientific organizations to work on human rights issues, and a program that allows individuals to volunteer their expertise to human rights organizations.

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Satellite images taken on May 6 (left) and May 10 (right) show a Sri Lankan neighborhood before and after destruction of numerous structures, providing evidence that bolstered reports of civilian casualties in a conflict between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebel group.



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