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Lecture: “Museums and Human Rights: The Constitutional Controversy Presented by the University of Guadalajara to the Mexican Supreme Court”

April 29, 2022 @ 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Dr. Eduardo Santana Castellon

About the presentation: On August 2021, the governor of the state of Jalisco, México, decided to remove 140 million pesos from the congressional previously-approved budget of the University of Guadalajara (UdeG) to finish the construction the Museum of Environmental Sciences. Conflicting and inconsistent explanations where given to explain the decision. The University submitted a constitutional controversy arguing that the change in budget, without a previous formal budget modification by the state Congress, violated the Congress’ authority and the University’s autonomy. The Jalisco State Commission of Human Rights submitted another constitutional controversy supporting the University’s argument, additionally stating that, given the Museum’s characteristics, the budget cut violated the human rights to education, culture and a healthy environment. Amicus Curiae by world and national leaders in museum, environment and design fields, and the Mexican National Human Rights Commission, supported the arguments adding possible violations to the right to information and a dignified life. The conflict is pertinent to the current ICOM debate on the definition and role of Museums. It will probably take a few years to resolve.

About the presenter: Eduardo Santana-Castellón is an alumnus of wildlife ecology and zoology (BSc ’79, MSc’ 85, PhD ’00), at UW-Madison, where he has been adjunct and visiting professor at the Dept. of Forest and Wildlife Ecology and the Nelson Institute. Since 1985, he has been professor/researcher in the themes of ecology, management of natural resources, urban sustainability and local environmental governance at the University of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He is presently General Director of the Museum of Environmental Sciences, Coordinator of the Socio-environmental Film Festival, Coordinator of the City & Nature Literature Award, and President of the Advisory Board of the University Botanical Garden. He has been elected or invited to the governing boards of the Society for Conservation Biology, Association for Tropical Biology, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, and the North American Bird Conservation Initiative-Mexico. He has played a leading role in creating some 20 new academic and conservation programs or institutions, and has worked in defending the rights of Nahuatl and Wixárika indigenous communities in Western Mexico. He coordinated the design of the Cuba Nature Conservation Program for the World Wildlife Fund. He has directed over 30 graduate and undergraduate thesis. Individually, or as part of a team, he and his projects have received over 40 national and international awards. He has been guest speaker or professor in over 50 universities or natural-resource institutions in 17 countries and has produced some 155 technical and popular science publications and opinion pieces.

This lecture will be given in person in 206 Ingraham; however, you can also watch it remotely via Zoom by registering HERE. 


April 29, 2022
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Room 206 Ingraham Hall
1155 Observatory Drive
Madison, 53706 United States
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(608) 262-2811