“Andy Miah is the Renaissance man of the enhancement enlightenment”
Kristi Scott, H+ Magazine
“Andy Miah is no ordinary academic. Part futurologist, part philosopher, his work on the science of sport grew to encompass bioethics, medical law and now covers all aspects of the way technology impacts on human beings” The Scotsman
My primary position is Chair of Ethics and Emerging Technologies and Director of the Creative Futures Institute at the University of the West of Scotland, at which all of my research engages with the aesthetic, ethical, cultural and policy issues arising from emerging technology. I have spent considerable time researching the Internet along with human enhancement technologies. I have been involved with numerous international projects in these areas, notably a European Parliament Science and Technology Options Assessment in Human Enhancement (2009); a United Kingdom Select Committee Inquiry into Human Enhancement Technologies in Sport (2007); a European Commission inquiry into Digital Futures (2012), a NBIC European Commission inquiry (2012) and numerous projects based at The Hastings Center, New York.
I spend most of my time writing, giving talks, reading and teaching. I have an Honours degree in Science, a PhD in Bioethics and a Master Degree in Law, but there’s a lot more to it than these words. Within these degrees I also studied sociology, cultural studies, history of medicine, philosophy of technology and media theory. As a result of this exposure, my research expertise is best indicated by the category weighting of the posts in this website and broadly encompasses an interest in the implications of technological and scientific discoveries for humanity.
There are two principal categories of ideas that inform this work: biology and computing. For an overview of how this all comes together for me, the best snapshot I can offer is my 2010 inaugral lecture at University of the West of Scotland. Areas that I’ve focused on recently include studying the implications of pervasive wireless connectivity, the convergence of scientific technological systems and the modification of biological matter through nanotechnology and gene transfer. Many of these studies are transdisciplinary and characterised as NBIC (nano-bio-info-cognitive) studies. Recent work has particularly examined the role of art and design in an era of biotechnology, often described as bioart or transgenic art or bioart.
I have published around 120, solo-authored academic articles in refereed journals, books, e-zines, and national media press, recently including Bioethics and Film, Medical Enhancement and Posthumanity, and Politics and Leisure. I have also written for leading newspapers, including The Washington Post, The Guardian, Le Monde, the Times Higher Education Supplement. I have had profile pieces published on my work in The Scotsman, The Times and the Independent and have been interviewed for over 100 other media outlets, including Wired, Tone, and Andrew Marr’s Start the Week.
I am frequently invited to speak about the implications of new technologies for humanity (the individual) and society (the collective), particularly ethical issues related to new media, biopolitics and public engagement. Often when contacted by journalists, their opening line says something about the difficulty with understanding which is my specialism. My reply is embodied within the new Creative Futures Institute, which I direct and speaks to the need for all manners of investigation to draw from a range of ideas to fully grasp the significane of anything. Scientists must read fiction, philosophers must sociology, academics must learn to communicate to the public.
I am also involved with various projects that study non-sporting aspects of the Olympic movement and have been working in this area for over 10 years. I have undertaken primary data collection at the last 7 Olympic Games. The next phases of this research takes me to Sochi 2014. In relation to this work, I am also co-editor of the online, academic serial ‘Culture at the Olympics’
PS: I have been designing websites since 1998, most of which have been built with Macromedia & Adobe products. I’ve been blogging on Blogger and WordPress since 2005 and use photography and graphic packages throughout my environments. Most of the photography on this site is taken by me. I think most exceptions are apparent and hopefully credited. My reason for designing websites is mainly to maintain a creative outlet other than my writing, but also because I remember reading, a long time ago, that academic journal articles are read, on average, by 6 people. As a result, I became committed to reaching more people with my research and this compels me towards doing publicity and engaging with the media and with media. Some of my published research talks about this need and I’ve also helped to setup others online, to advance these commitments. That said, I really just enjoy playing with technology and this is my primary motivation to explore what computers can do. In 2011, the TImes Higher Education wrote a pieace that featured my website, here’s an extended interview.