The seventh Human Rights and Science Symposium is hosted by the Council of Finnish Academies. It belongs to a symposium series managed by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and is organized in collaboration with all Finnish science academies.

The 7th symposium “Human Rights and Science” discusses the human rights dimension in the Arctic studies. The focal themes revolve around the rights of the indigenous peoples, preconditions of scientific research in the Arctic, and the human rights perspectives in research and utilization of natural resources. The theme “Arctic” is especially topical in Finland, as Finland will assume the two-year rotating chairmanship position of the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum addressing sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic, in May 2017. The scientific coordinators of the symposium are Professor Jukka Kekkonen, Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Council of Finnish Academies in Helsinki and Dr Judith Miggelbrink, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig.

The symposium is part of the official Suomi 100 Finnish centenary jubileum program. The guests are welcome to an official reception by the City of Helsinki in the Old City Hall after the symposium. Symposium registration is free of charge, complimentary coffee and lunch are served for all registered guests. The guests are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements.

On Friday 29 September, European Researchers’ Night is held in around 300 cities simultaneously across Europe. Events in Helsinki can be found from the Finnish Researchers’ Night webpage.

Registration for open symposium

Please kindly register until 31st July 2017.

Register here

Hotel recommendations

Because of the Finnish centenary jubileum, the hotels in Helsinki city centre are likely to be more occupied than usual this autumn. Therefore, it is suggested that the symposium guests would take into consideration taking advance of symposium bulk bookings provided by nearby hotels.

Symposium location and hotel locations on a map

Original Sokos Hotel Helsinki

From Sept. 27th to 29th, 2017.
Single Room 130 € / night.
Twin Room 150 € / night.
Reservations: on the hotel web page with a reservation code: ARCTIC2017.
Allotment valid until Aug. 16, 2017.

Hotel Cumulus Kaisaniemi

From Sept. 27th to 29th, 2017.
Single Standard Room 130 € / night.
Twin Standard Room 150 € / night.
Single Superior Room 153 € / night.
Twin Superior Room 173 € / night.

Reservations: with a reservation code: ARCTIC2017.
Allotment valid until July 31, 2017.

Scandic Paasi

On Sept. 28th , 2017.
Single Room 131 € / night.
Twin Room 151 € / night.

On Sept. 29th, 2017.
Single Room 121 € / night.
Twin room 141 € / night.
Reservations: on the hotel web page with a reservation code: BTSV270917
Allotment valid until Sept. 13, 2017.


Professor Jukka Kekkonen, the Chair of Human Rights Committee of the Council of Finnish Academies.

Professor Hans Peter-Zenner, the Chair of Human Rights Committee of Leopoldina Science Academy.

Dr. Päivi Tikka, Secretary General in the Council of Finnish Academies.

Kalle Videnoja, Science Secretary in the Council of Finnish Academies.

Dr. Jan Nissen, Senior Officer in Leopoldina’s Department of International Relations.

Dr. Reetta Kettunen, the Committee of Public Information.

Professor Pekka Aula, the Finnish Academys of Science and Letters.

Professor Carl G. Gahmberg, the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters.

Adjunct Professor Panu Nykänen, the Finnish Academy of Technology.

Adjunct Professor Åsa Lindberg, the Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences in Finland.

Preliminary Program


09.00     Welcome

Professor Hans-Peter Zenner and Professor Jukka Kekkonen

09.10     Opening words: Finland as the chair of the Arctic Council

Ambassador for Arctic Affairs Aleksi Härkönen

09.30     Keynote

Dr. Erkki Tuomioja, Member of Finnish Parliament

10.00     A commentary and discussion

Research Professor Timo Koivurova, Director of Arctic Centre

10.15     Coffee break

10.35     Session 1: Introduction to environmental changes and livelihood in the Arctic

Professor Atte Korhola, University of Helsinki:

Professor Antje Boetius, University of Bremen and Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology.

Interviewer: Dr. Aili Pyhälä, University of Jyväskylä

12.00     Lunch break w/ screening of an award-winning documentary The Reindeer belong to the Wind

Documentary on the traditional lifestyle of a Sami reindeer herding cooperative in Finnish Lapland is screened as an introduction to topics in Session 2. In the documentary, members of the cooperative describe the kind of threats their livelihood faces in the modern world. The documentary also introduces viewers to the special characteristics of their culture.

13.00     Session 2: Discussion on scientific perspectives on human rights of indigenous people living in the Arctic

Dr. Maria Sapignoli, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle

Dr. Marjo Lindroth, University of Lapland

Tiina Sanila-Aikio, President of Sámi Parliament

Moderator: Science journalist Ari Laakso, Arctic Centre

14.30     Coffee break

14.50     Session 3: The work and rights of researchers in the Arctic

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Reetta Toivanen, The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights

Professor Gail Fondahl, University of Northern British Colombia

Dr. Konstantin Zamyatin, University of Helsinki

Moderator: Dr. Nuccio Mazzullo, Arctic Centre

15.45     Closing words and recap

Professor Hans-Peter Zenner and Professor Jukka Kekkonen

16.30    Official reception by the City of Helsinki in the Old City Hall (Aleksanterinkatu 20)

The Old City Hall location

Further information

Päivi Tikka
+358 325 42 14

Kalle Videnoja
+358 44 762 4454

Jan Nissen
+49 345 472 39 834