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Committee on Human Rights
of the NAS, NAE, and NAM

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Human Rights-Based Responses to the Persecution of Scientists and Scholars 

A Discussion with Dr. Michael Katz and Professor Philippe Sands

For nearly half a century, the Committee on Human Rights (CHR) has worked to support colleagues who have been subjected to unfair trials, imprisonment, torture and other forms of ill-treatment for their professional work or for speaking out on sensitive issues within their societies.  

Michael Katz, professor of pediatrics and member of the CHR, and Philippe Sands, legal scholar and author, recently held a virtual discussion to reflect on historical attacks against members of the scientific and academic community, including during World War II.  

With journalist and professor Mia Swart serving as moderator, they examined how human rights standards that emerged in response to atrocities during WWII can be applied when scientists, scholars and academic freedom come under attack. They also considered ways in which the scientific community can help promote and protect the rights of their colleagues.  

Watch a video recording of their discussion below:


Human Rights-Based Responses to the Persecution of Scientists and Scholars from The National Academies on Vimeo.