Science & Human Rights Coalition: 2014 Student Essay Competition

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
Submissions should be written in the form of an analytical or critical paper that raises thoughtprovoking
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 health professionals; or the ways in which full recognition 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.
Prizes, including a year of membership in AAAS and a one-year subscription to Science, will be
awarded in the following categories:
(1) Undergraduate student
(2) Graduate student
The winning students will be recognized at the July 14-15, 2014 meeting of the Science and
Human Rights Coalition (AAAS is unable to cover travel expenses). Their essays will be
considered for publication in Professional Ethics Report, a quarterly publication of the AAAS
Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program.
Essays will be evaluated for:
(1) Writing quality and clarity;
(2) Analysis and reasoning;
(3) Originality and creativity;
(4) Depth of knowledge and awareness of important issues and challenges; and
(5) Compliance with the essay requirements (see below).
Judges for the competition will be drawn from among the representatives of Science and Human
Rights Coalition Member Organizations, 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.
(1) The competition is open to all registered undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in
courses during the spring 2014 semester. Students enrolled in life science, physical
science, social science, health, engineering and mathematics programs are especially
encouraged to participate.
(2) Students may be enrolled in any discipline.
(3) There is no geographic restriction: students may be enrolled in any accredited college or university in the world.
(4) Papers written for courses are eligible, but all papers must be the original, unpublished work of an individual student.
(5) Each student may submit only one essay.
(6) Essays must be submitted in English.
(1) Essays
a. Essays should be no more than 750 words in length.
b. A complete bibliography should be included, if appropriate. The bibliography and/or footnotes will not count towards the word limit.
c. Essays should be typed and double-spaced, in an easily readable 12-point font (such as Times New Roman), with 1” margins.
d. All pages must include the title of the essay and page numbers.
e. Submissions will be judged anonymously so please do not include any personally identifying information (name, university) in the essay document.
(2) How to submit your essay:
a. Please send your essay as an attachment to an email to
b. The attachment may be sent in either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.
c. The subject line of your email should be: Student Essay Competition (undergraduate) or Student Essay Competition (graduate) as appropriate depending on your status.
d. The body of the email must include the following information:
• Name
• College or university where you are enrolled
• Student status (undergraduate or graduate)
• Essay title
• Email address
• Mailing address
• Phone number
e. Essays must be submitted no later than 11:59 P.M., Friday, May 30, 2014. Any entries received after that time will not be considered. Winners will be notified by June 13, 2014.
(3) Students participating in the competition authorize AAAS and the Science and Human Rights Coalition to use all or part of their essays in publications. In such instances, the essay will be attributed to the author and the college or university in which the student is enrolled.

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