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Sapere Aude!: Access to Knowledge as Human Right and a Key Instrument to Development

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2008
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Communications Law and Policy
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)346-368
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article focuses on access to knowledge as a human right and instrument to development with particular regard to the pharmaceutical field. In the first part of this essay, after attempting to define knowledge, the two processes of knowledge creation and knowledge diffusion will be explored. At first sight, access to knowledge seems to gravitate in orbit round knowledge diffusion. However, because of the osmosis between knowledge creation and knowledge diffusion, access to knowledge in fact plays an essential role in knowledge creation as well. Therefore, the role of access to knowledge in both spheres will be analysed. It will be argued that access to knowledge is a fundamental human right and a key instrument to development. The policy tools to promote access to knowledge will be scrutinized. In particular, both Intellectual Property (IP) and open access models of knowledge creation and diffusion will be considered. In the second part of this essay, the impact of IP on knowledge creation and diffusion will be analysed with regard to the pharmaceutical sector. My conclusion will be that IP is just one method of knowledge governance and other conceptual and legal models are needed to promote fairness and equity in accessing knowledge.