“Fostering a love of truth”: Ideas of science in UNESCO in the early years

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Apart from establishing The Right to Science and the subsequent Recommendations on Science and Scientific Research (1974 and 2017), UNESCO has been a significant agent in international science cooperation since 1945. UNESCO has been a significant agent in international science cooperation since 1945. The ‘S’cience in UNESCO was however a last minute addition. The addition was closely tied up to the beginning of the nuclear age and the creation of the previously unimaginably destructive power of the nuclear bomb. The science department of UNESCO was thus created in a time where science – to the broader public and many politicians – held not only the promise of endless progress in a perfect modernity, but also the threat of world destruction. In the following decades, the onset of The Cold War posed its own challenges to the Mertonian norms of science and to the ideas of international science cooperation in general. In this chapter, I trace the different ideas of science as they were articulated within UNESCO to illustrate what the organization itself understood by the concept of science and its relations to concepts of modernity, progress, and development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe right to science, : Then and now
EditorsHelle Porsdam, Sebastian Mann
Number of pages15
Place of PublicationCambridge, New York
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publication date3 Dec 2021
ISBN (Print)978-1-108-47825-0
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2021
EventThe right to Science - then and now: In honor of the 70th anniversary of the Universal declaration of Human Rights, UDHR. - Jura, Københavns Universitet, København, Denmark
Duration: 10 Dec 201810 Dec 2018


ConferenceThe right to Science - then and now
LocationJura, Københavns Universitet
Internet address

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