Letter from Rita Levi-Montalcini to Marshall W. Nirenberg
The 1986 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine, Rita Levi-Montalcini, updates Nirenberg on a meeting of outstanding
scientists and intellectuals in Italy to draft a "Declaration of Human Duties." The twelve principle duties are provided
in an attached brochure, which also contains the names of those subscribing to the document. The group called for such things
as respecting human dignity and diversity, protecting nature, and promoting peace. Levi-Montalcini suggests that Nirenberg's
approval and support would be "of invaluable importance in the success of this project."
Number of Image Pages:
1 (73,408 Bytes)
1995-12-13 (December 13, 1995)
International Council of Human Duties
Nirenberg, Marshall W.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics
Reproduced with permission of Rita Levi-Montalcini.
Beyond the Laboratory: Professional, Personal, and Political Life, 1967-2002
The importance of the International Human Rights Law as an instrument for the protection of the fundamental rights of every
individual is today recognized worldwide. However, at the same time, the need for a corresponding Declaration of Human Duties
has become increasingly evident.
On the invitation of the University of Trieste, a number of outstanding scientists and intellectuals from many countries met
in Trieste in December 1992 to draft a Declaration of Human Duties.
Following a lively discussion, a Declaration of 12 principal Human Duties was accomplished and approved by all the participants
in a second meeting in Trieste in 1993. A number of International Organizations have since given their full support of this
Enclosed you will find a brochure containing the list of duties and the names of the persons and international organizations
subscribing to this document.
As a fellow Nobel Laureate, your approval and support of this document, along with any suggestions you might have, would be
of invaluable importance for the success of this project. A new global consciousness and human solidarity is imperative in
the 21st century as we move beyond the consideration of Rights to the more inclusive concept of Duties for the protection
of each other and the earth.
In the hope to hear from you at your earliest convenience, I remain