Human Issues in Human Rights

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Science  11 Aug 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4355, pp. 502-506
DOI: 10.1126/science.201.4355.502


The National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Human Rights and its 350 correspondent academy members seeks to ease the plight of individual scientists, engineers, and medical personnel suffering severe repression. It has engaged in a program of private inquiry, public remonstrance, and moral support in behalf of individuals from 11 countries. In developing this activity, members of the committee had to engage in a series of troubling issues related to the nature of human rights, the choice of cases, and the format of protest. But most troubling of all are the issues raised by the profound distortions of humanness, nationhood, and science that follow in the wake of repression.