Article 15: Questionnaire 2:

Article 15 requires governments to “respect the freedom indispensable for scientific research.”

3. Describe the challenges that scientists within linguistics experience in exercising the freedom necessary to conduct their work and disseminate their findings. These challenges may arise due to the topic, content, or method of their research or expression.  Please provide specific examples, when possible.

Note: please answer this question in terms of linguists working and living in the country where you are currently located.  If appropriate, add a response related to the challenges of linguists working in/residing in other countries.

4. Enjoying the benefits of science necessarily includes protection from the misuse of science, whether through intention, accident or neglect.[1] What do you see as the potential dangers or misuses of linguistics?


[1] The context for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the brutality and destruction of WWII, including the Nazi genocide.  UDHR drafters were highly cognizant of both the beneficial and destructive potentials of science.  (Chapman 2009).

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One Response to Article 15: Questionnaire 2:

  1. Jeff Good says:

    While I don’t have any concrete examples in mind (though I’m sure they could be found), to the extent that the methods of linguistics allow outsiders to understand the language of other groups, the results of linguistic research could easily be used to negative ends by making it easier for those wishing to do harm to a particular linguistic group to communicate with that group and to understand what people from that group are saying.

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