A Sept. 14, 2011 conversation on Slate.com about Extreme Human Enhancement started with this provocative title, Should We Use Nanotech, Genetics, Pharmaceuticals, and Augmentations To Go Above and Beyond Our Biology? The official discussants are Kyle Munkittrick, Brad Allenby, and Nicholas Agar. Here’s a little more about Kyle, Brad, and Nicholas, from page one of the the Slate discussion,
Nicholas Agar is an associate professor at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. He is the author, among other things, of Humanity’s End: Why We Should Reject Radical Enhancement (2010) and Liberal Eugenics: In Defense of Human Enhancement (2004).
Brad Allenby is the Lincoln professor of engineering and ethics; a professor of civil, environmental, and sustainable engineering; and the founding director of the Center for Earth Systems Engineering and Management at Arizona State University. He is co-author with Daniel Sarewitz of The Techno-Human Condition.
Kyle Munkittrick is a bioethicist and a program director at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology. He blogs at Pop Bioethics and Discover magazine’s Science Not Fiction. [Note: I have made some formatting changes.]
Nanotechnology and the other technologies are mentioned in passing, the focus of the discussion is ‘should we or shouldn’t we enhance ourselves’ along with some comments as to whether or not humans have a biological imperative to create and apply technology to the planet and to ourselves.
This Slate discussion is a way of publicizing a Future Tense event in Washington, DC being held today, Sept. 15, 2011.
This conversation is part of a Future Tense, a partnership between Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State. On Thursday, Sept. 15, Future Tense will be hosting an event in Washington, D.C., on the boundaries between humans and machines, “Is Our Techno-Human Marriage in Need of Counseling?” [I removed the RSVP]
You can watch the livestreamed event here.
Coincidentally, Brain Gear is opening today. From the host’s (University of Groningen in The Netherlands) website page,
BRAIN GEAR, A conference in Groningen on September 15 and 16.
Neuroscientists, psychologists, sociologists, regulators and artists discuss the available and emerging technologies to repair and enhance the brain.
Professor Andy Miah, one of the invited speakers at Brain Gear, has made his presentation, Neurodevices for the Posthuman Mind, available for viewing at Prezi.
I find all this quite exciting given my paper, Whose electric brain? about memristors, artificial synapses, and cognitive entanglement. I have currently raised $460 towards my presentation at ISEA 2011 (International Symposium Electronic Arts). Thank you to everyone who has given funds toward my dream at DreamBank.