Can technology set you free?

Bioethics // Speaking

What: roundtable discussion, Battle of Ideas satellite event
When: 22 Nov, 2012
Where: Royal Academy of Engineering
Who: Dr Mo Ibrahim of TIME’s 100 most influential, Dr Aleks Krotoski of BBC Radio 4 tech fame and Chair David Bowden.

November 26th, 2012

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (2006, May, Stanford Law School)

Bioethics // Speaking

Stanford Law School

Ron Bailey, Reason Magazine

Designer babies
Sex selection

Consent of unborn concern
-    but nobody has consent over birth

‘much against my will’

ME: Is action done against those who cannot exercise will, an affront to it.

X-men enhanced vs naturals

People oft say what will happen to equality
-    Bill McKibben: declaration of independence cant withstand equality
-    Fukuyama:

Are people equal?
-    nothing self-evident about this.

Political equality idea arise from enlightenment that nobody has truth

Political equality has never rested on playing to human biology

George Annas: ‘the new species or Posthuman will likely view the…. As …. The normals on the other hand may view the posthumans as….potential for genocide….makes weapons of mass desutrction’

Remind Annas that enlightenment people of tolerance.

Political liberalism is already answer

David DeGrazia
-    are any X inviolable

no reason

expanding healthy human life spans

Erik Davis
Author of ‘Techgnosis’

Not going to talk about normative concerns.
Not interested in debate about enhancement

Interested to draw a space where all will be engaged in a way that is difficult, confusing, enlightening, etc.

‘the Posthuman condition’

attempt to explain an existential view of human acxtion, etc.

‘being unto death’ Heidegger.
-    maybe we can change this now

whether or not I accept Ron’s arguments, I have to live in possibility that death as I imagine it is not going to work out that way

another aspect of human condition that doesn’t change: choice
-    will still be faced with decisions

transhuman or poshuman?

I use post to invoke postmodern

One element of postmodern that has resonance: loss of grand narratives

Posthuman condition

The Matrix ‘red’ or ‘blue’ pill – choices

Why does morpheus offer a ‘pill’

Pharmacology offers way of grappling with Posthuman condition

Funl mistake that proenhanement make sometimes – confusing ends and means
-    richness of means
-    ie. End is more happiness, learn to live with my anxiety. I can take a pill or try something more tedius, like yoga, etc.

technologies that enhance abiliy to inquiry about Posthuman.

Hope we never lose process of inquiry when pursue more psychology good

Disenchantment of self and reimagining it

William Hurlbut
New paradigm in medicine
Gaylin: physician as nature’s assistant – old  paradigm
Now freedom from natural life processes

If enhancement an increase then need guidance

Within frame of natural limitations, desire serve as purposeful passions

Gordon Lightfoot: think its  sin when I think I’m winning when I’m losing again.

Without considerable caution, might think we’re winning when we’re losing.

Conclusion: all enhancement might more rightly be recognised as diminishments. Might not mean that not useful

Need some sense of relationship between biotech and natural world – this relates to human good

Need ustdg and wisdom/character

Need to enhance capacity for wisdom and character

ME: my prob is that I don’t like the tone of any of these speakers

‘rising tide of freedom and peril’

need to step back into something rooted more in scientific evidence
reflect on where we’ve come from
be realistic about scientific meaning and reaslism of what we’re saying
doubt much of what’s been referenced already is going to be scientifically feasible

matter, mechanism and meaning

fragile flexibility = life

marvel of life forms – specifically human

balance of body and being

‘embodied intelligent freedom’

reflect on this before seeking posthumans

we might be the ultimate formatio

plato: animals as degraded humans with specific functions

body is not equipment

are there no uses of enhancements? No. surely there are

surgeon using betablocker to steady hand. But you do these with a recognition that a higher good has been served.

Enhancement is a specialisation that XXXX with the world, but occassionalyl undergo alterations

What is a serious purpose?

Not too specific things.
Not pleasure.
Not competition.

If pleasure, then reduce to free-play – aesthetics of self. Using biologically driven resources to just enjoy. Nothing wrong with that, but deracinated is a great danger. And is trivialising, Nietzsche…

Competitive advantage seeking. Used for selfish ambition. Disrupts our deepest meaning.

We are creatures of the earth

Human word derives from earth

Humility also same root.

Be humble.

Questions and Answers

John Schlender, Arizona State Uni

John: are you asking whether I would give…..

John S: any therepy that can cure age related diseases and extend life span.

John: do I favour radical interventions in human life to increase life span? Very cautious, since level of operation would be disruptive to other purposes of human life. Rennard Hayflick says the reason we age is because we have complex biological systems which ultimately canot repair. Can we make magic bullet interventions. I don’t think so. We already are a specieis with an enhanced life span.rhesus macats already selected for longevity. Not convinced it will be easy. If there is a way consistent with human agency that enhances, then great. Not at cost of other phases of life.

Carl Jacksy, Uni of Washington: funl conservatism that all panels express. ‘adapt to the world’ ‘understanding’. If really about ethics and morality,not posthumanism, but postcapitalism. Never once has discussion fo changing political system. Issue of ludism – social structures need to change. Ultimatel ethical desirada is ecosystem that is 100% symbiotic and 0% parasidic. Marcuse: potential of human race not to dominate nature but transcend struggle for survival. People talk about life extneions as xXX, but majority of species on earth are physically immortal.

Erik: I was not calling for radical political transformation, buit invioking drugs as model, was to raise issue of consumerism, capital, etc. people here have a good sense of how decisions in pharma are driven by capital as well as ethics. But I don’t call for things, nor believe they are around the corner. But invoke impossibility of escaping these questions.

Ron: put in a good word for capitalism. Only social system that allows people to get above natural tate of poverty.

Jean Pierre de XX, Paris and Stanford Uni: respond to Erik Davis – vantage point of history of philosophy. If I heard correct, human condition defined by limitations of human possibilities. I think exactly contrary. Human condition when limits of human life strated to be seen not as lack, but as source of meaning. Kant. Heideggerian notion of being unto death. Recall Satre rejoinder to Heidegger: even if became immoral would remain finite, since condemned to be XXXX, to be free is to choose. The more open possibilities, the more finite – chnoice implies renouncing openness. Equation between choice and possiblitiy to overcome finiteness is dubious. If following satre, of course.

ME: if I’m hnst, I should even be speaking

Nick Bostrom: what are the costs of the surgeon using beta blockers.

Bill: when using a drug, effecting range of responses in body. either body accommodate, or provoke imbalance. Foundation of experience – don’t do interventions unless you need to do them. Not convinced that enhancements will effect desired ends or even reasonably feasible. What is evidence that Posthuman are better? There are obviously conditions that need counterbalancing, but what is the goal?

Ron: who is the we? Societal ‘we’ is very totalitarian. You doubt feasibility, so let us try. Don’t stop now. Humanity is terrible at foresight. Never been good at it.\

Wyre Sententia: choice and freedom. I know ron holds to idea of political liberalism. Potential of Erik’s discussion of grand and small narratives. Who will constrain? For what purpose? Douglas Ruskkoff, echoing Satre: defined more by technologies we choose not to use, rather than those that we do.

Erik: I know an electronic musician. I play acoustic guitar and is quite limited machine in formal characteristics. But if electronic musician today can spend limited mony and have range of capacities.

Bill: I do think there are some things we should tell our citizens that there are some things they can’t do. Germ-line intevention is a very bad idea.

Ron: but probably not in 50 years? Eugenics whether allow or restrict. Enhanced lives are not goalless. Eduardo Kac from Brasil, biotech artist – art gene put into e coli, then art gene in a dish and people could.

Claude XXX, Palo Alto: are you somewhat concerned that all these new powers could lead to a nightmare scenario, dictatorship wher government make decisions for people.

Ron: It has to be a concern. Surveillance technologies.

Erik: proximity to catastrophe is relevant. So many nightmare scenarios though.

XXX: what benefits would acrrue form enhancements. Previously, I evaluated ed programmes for disadvantaged. Yet after spending millions, effects not good. If I were parent of a kid, seems sad to me that many kids that have 2 strikes against them because they’ve lost in genetic lottery. How wonderful if could afford choice to do something about that. This is a good application of microeugenic choice.

Bill: what did you have in mind? Predesigning child to be smarter?

XXX: parent in annual wellness exam, might mention will have a child, and physician says we can evaluate eggs to see if there are eggs or sperm that are normal with regard to intelligence and we can allow you to select.

Bill: so, PGD

XXX: yes, but not just morphological, but actually inspection of genome.

Bill: what about improving genome in progress?

XXX: not sure.

Bill: so, selecting, rather than enhancing?

XXX: yes, first, not sure second.

Bill: so what is intelligence? We have standardised talent recognition. Many people who cant read well are more likely to be in jail than others. People on death row, many are dyslexics. So select out dyslexia? Well maybe, but maybe physiological – tendency to ear ache in early life. Trouble with this is that even if goal acceptable, what goes into intelligence is complex. Hundreds of gene. Multitrait loci. No one gene has 1-2% contribution of a given trait like intelligence. To improve must select complex number to select – eg 1,200 embryos. What’s the goal? So they can all go to Stanford!?

Ron: what you’re hoping for will be achiceved by neuropharmacology before embryo selection. People in memory field .

Bill: would these be drugs they take all the time?

Ron: XXX

Bill ??: how draw line between therapy and enhancement. Stronger immune systems. Bill, in your talk you spoke of Lennard Hayflick of ageing as breakdown of repair. How draw line? If you don’t draw the line, are you into enhancement?

Bill: I’m not a bioconservative. I’m from California. But conservation is a good word, when there is something worth conserving. Medicine is conservative. First principle ‘do no harm’. But first principle should be ‘stay away from docctors’, one in 6 is iatrogenic ‘caused by doc’. If non-invasive that doesn’t harm, I wouldn’t be against, but sceptical. Immune system is a balance – cant work out how to enhance it. We know of deficiencies. But with regard to gene thing, we should make it clear that genetic germline enhancements- genes are not legos. Every system we care about – beauty, intelligence- complex interactions of genes. If really try to bring about scenario, will need cloned human embryos and alter one at a time. Otherwise, natural selection could not predict. Multi body problem raised to nothing degree. This will all amount to experiments on human beings and don’t think we have entitlement to do that.

Ron: with regard to germline, they wont work now. Bioinformatics might produce enough info to simulate genome, interactions of proteins, etc.

Bill: let me correct that. Concordance of identical twins only 18% higher than fraternal. Misimpression that genes are determinate. The bioinformatics prob is so complex that cant do without known genome – so need cloned humans.we have false impressions about how genes work based on genetic diseae. But these are usually missing links in chain, but not just one trait, we just don’t analyse it that way in popular level. Polygenic inheritance means one gene affects many traits. I doubt bioinformatics will solve.

James, Sanfransciso: gentlemen from Washintgon answer question about where this is going – symbiotic rather than parasitic. Ref back to Matrix, agent compared human beings to a virus, uising up resources. Best estimates that lifeblood of oil runs out in a couple of decades. So, question: since 40years since outlaw of psychedelics, so what hindsight of that decision.

Ron: affront of human freedom. Stop drug war and help people who go too far.

YXXXX, Stanford student: ‘we humans might be highest form of physical form’. Something Nick Bostrom wrote on ‘reversal test’. Unlikelt in grand scheme that we are at a local optimum in this point in history. How respond to reversal test.

Bill: human beings are a marvel of balanced capacities. Hands as tool of tools. We could do better. Owls see better at night. But enhancing one thing upsets balance. I think about danger of being torn between arrogance and anxious striving. When ask what really makes people better? My thoughts aren’t something technological. But who is happiest? St Francis: recognised of natural value. Became weak to become strong. French theologian: man can recover true life…certain voluntary poverty is the condition for possessing the world in a way that will not reduce it to ashes.

Erik: I’m a melancholic Posthuman. I recog validity of human ways. Media.

ME: the charge of responsibility and its bearing on enhancement decisions.

Ron: we do have grand narratives: ending of poverty, suffering, etc.


Enhancement and Human Rights Session

Why Human Rights are a problem for enhancement
Patrick Hopkins

Right almost gives no carte blanche to harm others.
Not absolute
Alleged right to enhancement in appeal to autonomy no greater appeal than appeal to damgage oneself.

Extreme specificity of contemporary autonomy claims weaken it.
Previously, autonomy meant something broader.
In deontology, rights recognised some moral laws
Autonomy in consequentialist meant that when authorities decided for us, they often got it wrong
In none of these views was autonomy content free
Autonomy required rationality.
So, irrational choices had no validity.
Autonomy = self lawed, not no lawed

How is enhancement reasonably way of pursuing interests.

Pro-enhancement crowd must ask what they want from enhancement.
If power, gratification, etc, then less than human, not more.

To defend as a right, must be worthwhile, dignified and noble.

Chris Gray
Cyborg technology had horrible possibility of taking what rights we have.
Must make sure we don’t lose rights we currently enjoy.
V good to have a philosophical understanding – or epistemological – but what’s really imp is how you have power in the world.
Fact that we have rights now is that many people struggled for them.

Political systems are systems of discourse.
Discourse of rights is a metarule
Imp we mobiles this to keep freedom

Steve Mann –‘Digital Futures..’

Kevin Warwick says he’s a cyborg, but he isn’t.

Before right to enhance, right as normal citizen.

Epistemological – any imp question need this – how do you know what you know?

In this case, assumes what you need

Manfred Clynes

Goedl – showed mathematics was incomplete and/or imperfect

Church-turing thesis – incompetent

Understand human culture as a discourse.
-    change discourse

smartest thing in the world is a community, much smarter than any individual

dialetic – thesis, antithesis, new synthesis

Nigel Cameron
Associate Dean, Chicago College of Law

Author of ‘The NewMedicine’
And ‘Human Dignity in the Biotech Century’

(From Edinburgh in Scotland)

caveats of answers

identity complex questions

putative enhancement:
proportionality enhancement

recog prob of drawing lines –eg between therapy and enhancement

nobody claims it is easy to draw such lines

role of policy inthis debate is complex
naïve freedom of science argument

IRBs make life difficilt

Science constrained by social norms

A defining discussion about human future not easy to resolve.

Enhancement debates are surrogate to discussions about value of human – what is the good life?

This will be the dominating theme of the 21st century.

Questions and Answers

Positive and negative right distinc?
David Calvery, Arizona State:

Wesley Smith, Weekly Standard: for Dr Gray:

GraY: proliferation of transhumans. May have its own problems.

Question: are human limits a threshold or a fn of technology and culture?

Gray: universal machine faces same problem. Infiinitte computer cannot understand world.

Carl chansky: human race has been involved in enhancement since time immemorial. Two phases: enhancement of muscular abilities. Now this is closed. We have infinitised our musculature.

Nigel: Much less concerned about steroids

Kirsten Rabe Smolensky

Assume intervention before birth
Assume 2: germline not somatic
Assume3: safe enough
Assume4: intervention before born, resulting in outcome that they dislike and want to sue parents.

Eg. Superior athletic ability given and wanted superior musical ability.

Current state of tort law makes v unlikely that child could bring such a case

Wrongful birth/death

Two potential claims

Wrongful life/birth:
Least likely, but worth mention
Current law:

Claim: you didn’t screen me when in womb and I have this condition because of that.

Generally not recognised in court, since would require court to accept better off dead than with condition.

Court disagrees.

Alternative: negligence claim.

Ot bring:
Need duty of care.
Breach of duty
Breach must be proximate cause

Question of whether we owe foetus duty of care?

If someone hits pregnant woman and injures child, then potential negligence.

if pregnant woman in car and both damage, also independently liable to foetus

in some jursifactions parent can claim child cant sue.

Hewitt vs Jordan 1981, Mississippi – committed child. When got out sued parent.
Disupts family harmony

ME: what is length of term a child would have to make such a claim? In uk, it’s 3 years after realisation or after 18.

Alternative: Negligence Claim

Is duty owed to foetus?

About 6 cases o prenatal harm
-    where held: Groto v Grotom 1980, mother tetracycl…, discoloured teeth.
-    In Michigan, willallow prenatal harm claims
-    Bonti vs Bonti, 1992, New Hampshire: woman cross streetnegligently, hit by vehicle, foetus born, brought suit against mother. Court said mother was negligent.
-    Vs. Norton trust bank, 2002, court of appeals, automobile, mother negligent driver, brorn, sued, only upto limits of mothers insurnance – suggests ok if someone else paying, but if from parents’ pocket, then no.
-    In all cases, 3rd party tort. If allow 3rd party to be liable, then parents also.
-    Also in places where parental tort almost abolished.

If genetically enhance child inappropriately, could be similarly negigleb as if had harmed

3 other cases

car accident case, cocaine using mother and car accident
-    when courts focus on duty, say mother doesn’t have duty. If we control mother, then limiting her autonomy
-    if recog duty to foetus, then limiting her capacities

genetic enhancement a  little dim
-    at preimplantation stage, not changes by parent altering lifestyle. But actually choices of child before hand, which don’t necessarily affect mothers determiniation
-    thus, potential court liability more likely

ME: in the case where an award was made, what was it for ‘diminished life’, harm?

ME: defensive medicine a consequence of this prospect? Ie. Genetic counsellor advising about risk. Is counsellor liable? Not so much parent’s being sued, but subsequently – they will act under the advice of health care professionals. Can the child sue the genetic engineer for ineffectiveness. Ie. I was supposed to get 2m legs, and they’re only 30cm, or something.

Defensive medicine concen – spinabifida, alters advice if prospect of being sued.

ME: eg of child who’s born with athletic genes but wants musical genes. Isn’t this too specific an articulation. Ie. No right to all enhancements. A better example might be muscle fibre type selection. Selecting a child with greater fasttwitch fibre types and they want to be a marathon runner, because this an ‘either/or’ decision. My having of fast limits my slow.

Genetic Engineering and the Consent of future generations
Martin Gunderson

sceptical of deontological conservatism and consequential utopianism

doctrine of informed consent – not subhect to experiment/treatment without informed consent

Kantian notion of autonomy

Consent can change normative relations

Questions and Answers

Anita: consent issue. Issue is permitting parents to choose for their children. What are standards for surrogate consent.

James: concept of substituted judgmeent is time constraint and cultural constraint of knowl: standard of care.does concept of substituted judgement…at the time what parents were allowed to do.


George: parent consent illusion. Gattaca, selecting genes. Over interiew, doctor is guiding them. Is this medical liability?

Kirsten: if child bring suit, probably also malpractice suit from parents on informed issue. Another issue is diff notions of informed consent.

ME: you mentioned tht child sues parent and gets money from insurance company. Is this a way of gaining additional support for people with disabilities? Ie. Is there an incentive for parent to take out insurance that would allow them to claim…

James: cant have consent without knowledge of informed consent.

Anders: difference between treatments outside … blur of zone.

Everybody is already different.

Standard body not only non-existent, but also atemporal.

The Right Not to be Normal as the Essence of Freedom
Anita Silvers

Prosthetic used by cyclist

Whether lack of flesh enhances

Making better athlete

Equality of opp requires participation in social practices

Over last century commitment to equality of opp in USA has embraced diversity.

Some critics worry that enhancing lead to social inequality

Boil gifts.

Advantageous in some contexts, not others.

Don’t make people stronger, otherwise disabled will be even weaker, assumes what constitutes strength and weakness

Natural vs artificial – you cant go that way.

Whether boil differences are unfair

Assumption that we are naturally competitive.

Mistaken to assume this.

A lot of evolutionary biology that suggest this to be false

Just as likely to be naturally cooperative

So, if working in a group, don’t you want your colleagues to have strengths that you might not have?

Transhumanist continue to buy in to competitive theory

Enhance our ability to cooperate

Transhumanism and the O(/o)Ther
Shannon Ramdin

Politics of technological empowerment

Are transhumanists colonial subject or object?

Haraway’s manifesto

James Hughes – WTA alls under liberal democratic transhumanism. Doesn’t mean not affiliated with radical.

Cyborgs and cytberspace connection.

Web not a new world, but reflection of non-virtual world.

Ever widening digtal divide.

Identity not invisible.

Transhuman technologies
-    genome

inequalities exist in society

even when technology starts off

ME: why should we expect the Internet to be equally available?

Suffering bodily tolerances and enhancement discourse
Jessica Cadwalladar
Doctoral candidate critical cultural studies

suffering more than bodily pain

cast as most unquestionable, most natural

poststructuralist claim … to be natural has a number of effects
-    places thing outside culture
-    Haraway’s Primate Visions – natural as human and thus cultural description
-    Patriarchy as natural state of being fed into studies of gorillas

Suffering is a politicised cultural space

Carl Elliott, Better than well
Human growth hormone, used to treat shortness almost exclusively in boys
Early years, debates about how to use.
Some suggested that any boy in shortest 1% should be treated.
Short men were observed to suffer following disadvantages – less good jobs, less long term relationships. But parents of boys who grow up to be short men didn’t care about reason, just wanted child not to suffer.

Suffering as trump card.

Yet, suffering not neutral either.

Occurs in relation to deviation from cultural norm.

Those who suffer because of a range of things, don’t suffer because it is natural for them to do so, but because cant fully achieve cultural norms

Taken on by subject.

Merleu ponty

Normal not natural, but conceptions

Pathological deviation from natural functioning

Deviance when not adhering to Norm Fost

Disability already marked as pathological, even in absence of disease.

Any kind fo corporeal difference is taken as diseae

Questions and Answers

ME: competitive with a small c and big C. is competitiveness necessarily a lack of care for one’s competitiveness. One can be competitive without having competitive anxiety.

Anita: what would it mean to engage the public?

Question: you all mentoned respecting difference. What is common ground on which we respect difference?  What is our common humanity?

Jessica: Dewey: there is a human nature, but it is built  by us.

Anita: where does the burden of proof lie? Why on those who accept difference who don’t even notice it. Example of student who probably had asbergers didn’t know this difference. Are we hardwired to attach certain kinds of difference? Lone wolves. Blind wolves are often lone wolves, because they attach the pack.

Jessica: I have major questions about individual liberty. I have a more inter-subjective view on how subjects come to be. People want to conform.

Of genes, bemes and conscious things: from transhuman enhancements to transbeman rights
Martine Rothblartt


Bemes, like memes but cultural.

Beme mightier than gene

How do DNA and BNA matter?
-    dna genes
-    bna translated via neurochemistry or software

Our Right to Life: Life extension, human rights, and the rational refiniement of repugnance
Aubrey de Grey

Structure of talk

Leon kass – credit where due

My flavour of non-cognitivism

Evidence from past precedent

Relevance to the (un)desirability of aging

Non-cog – no one true morality

Will aging become repugnant?

ME: it is already isn’t t?

June 30th, 2009

Launch of James Martin Institute, Oxford University (2006, March)

Bioethics // Philosophy // Speaking

Oxford forum
Oxford forum    1
Wednesday    2
Tom Kirkwood    2
Rally curing aging: the other sociological obstacle    4
Aubry DNJ de Grey    4
Jay Olshansky    5
How would you assess current aging research, and the prospects for significant breakthroughs in any of its major branches    5
Extending Life Span: Scientific prospects and political obstacles    7
Richard Miller    7
Discussant    9
Paul Hodge    9
Sarah Harper and Kenneth Howse    11
Is more life always a good thing?    11
Stronger?    14
Ellen Heber-Katz    15
Stem cell research and its ethical considerations in china    16
Pei Xuetao, Beijing institute of transfusion medicine, stem cell research center    16
Thursday    19
Cognitive Enhancement    19
Nick    19
Happier    21
Susan Greenfield    21
Professor Lord Richard Layard    23
nick baylis    23
Donald bruce    23
Fairer?    25
Enhancement and Fairness,    25
Julian Savulescu    25
When /if Longer, faster strong, smarter life is happier: reflectins on slower, sustainable and more inclusive life experiences    28
Anil Gupta    28
Gregor Wolbring    29
Enhancement, Justice and rights: immortality    29
John Harris    29
Utility pets    31
Elio caccavale    31
Governable?    31
Baroness Sally Greengross    31
Suzi Leather    32
Creativity and Governance    32
Christopher Newfield    32



Tom Kirkwood
Oeppen and Vaupel, Science, 2002 – shows continuing  increasee in life expectancy

Idea that ageing is genetically programmed is fundamentally wrong
-    illustrated in 1950-s – david lack – zoology in oxford: wild animals never show any intrinsic sign of ageing, because they die young – do not have a chance to become old

thus, no potential…

peter medawa and george Williams

selection shadow – animals die young because environment is dangerous – don’t need to grow old

disposable soma theory – Kirkwood, nature 1977
-    animals invest only what they see to be necessary to remain competitive

how much should animals bother in maintaining and repair

shouldn’t talk about natural selection in these terms

geens make choices

dawkins – imperative on genes

regardless of thesis, realities exist

how much invest in reproducing or repairing

there is no genetic programme for ageing. We age because in evol past…

ageing process model

age related frailty, disability, and disease – accumulation of cellular defects, caused by random molecular damage

build bridges between biomedical and social sciences
-    because we know influ of environment

we know that healthy lifestyle and food can affect this

malleiability of the ageing process
-    by decreasing exposure to damage (nutrition, lifestyle, environment)
-    enhance natural mechanisms for protection and repairt ( nutrition, novel drugs, stem cell)

traditional view of ageing
-    is biololgically determined with inbuilt limit
-    progressive, irreversible capacity
-    ageing distinct phase of life style
-    disases of ageing distinct from intrinsic underlying processes of healthy ageing

dismiss the first
-    we are programmed for survival not death
-    ageing intrinsically malleable
-    youth and age are continuum
-    intrinsic ageing and many age related diseases share common underlying

successes and limitations – managing expectations
-    current success
o    good ustdg, but more to learn
o    beginnings of ustdg of underlying mechanisms of ageing and age relationship disease
o    can modify longevity in some animal models – fruit fly, etc – but in nearly every case is uncertain
-    Current limitations
o    V little evidence for effecicaly of drug/nutraceutical effects
o    Cannot yet perform successful gene therapy for well-defined targets such as cystic fibrosis
o    Cannot yet perform successful stem cell therapy for well defined targets
o    Potential future discussions largely speculative and unacceptable in other biomedical spheres


Education and public engagement- education and professional training
-    expand research capacity in ageing science
-    inc professions and industry

Public engagement- government

Public engagement – Citizens
-    challenge and change negative atts to ageing

Ageing: scientific Aspects – select committee publication from last year

Rally curing aging: the other sociological obstacle
Aubry DNJ de Grey

Strategies for engineered Negligle Senescene (SENS)

Jbs haldane, 1963

Four stages of acceptance
i)    worthless nonsense…

Arthur c Clarke

New ideas pas through three periods
Tom Kirkwood

The rejuvenation dividend: the precepts
-    stretching frailty is v hard, luckilty
-    the faster we delay frailty without stretching it, the fewer people wil be frail
o    rate, not extent, of progress is key
-    partial repair gives more delay than partial prevention
o    how achieve? – eg. Someone aged a lot, only so much we can do – concept of reserve: amount of additional damage your body can afford to accumulate before things go wrong.  How help: start sooner – be healthy earlier;
-    when a plausible rate of medical progress is presumed
o    even better repair is possible!

Promising progress or arrogant nonsense

Embo reports 2005 nov 6,(11) 1006-=1008
-    None of us believes tht plans to ‘engineer’ the body to prevent ageing indefinitely or to turn old people young again have the remotest chance to success’

Reasons given for dismissing SENS
-    is unscientific: ‘ easily recognized as a pretence by those
-    ‘nnoneof pthe sens]
-    T

Technology and science differe in how they best evaluate evidence
-    goal: powered flight. Solutions?
o    Engineer vs scientist

Scientists way of analyzing evidence is misapplied in context of technological goal

‘if an expet cant explain something in his field to an educated laymen…’

the sens challenge
with MIT Technology review – www.technologyreview.com
-    offered $20,000 to discredit de Grey – open to any molecular
-    editor of technology review thought high profile panel
-    panel is: craig venter, rod brooks, Nathan myrvhold, vikram kumar, anita goel
-    two entries submitted, another threatened

sens is following Gandhi
-    firs tthey ignore you
-    then they laugh ay ou
-    then they oopose you
-    then they say they were with you all along

de grey, adnj, embro Reports 2005; 6(11): 1000
-    offer no apology for using media interest in llife extn to make the biologiyt of ageing an exception to planck’s observation that science advances funeral by funaeral, lives lots of them, are at stake

life extension not just science, a biomedical prob too

causes considerable suffering


himsworht and goldacre, 1999, bmj, 319: 1138-1339
-    the older you are, the healthier you’ve been (Perls)

Jay Olshansky
How would you assess current aging research, and the prospects for significant breakthroughs in any of its major branches

(background in sociology, but leading biodemographers)
now at Uni of Illinois

was at US President’s council in 2002 on ageing

in answer to that, prefer question

can we justify theattempts to slow ageing and how?

answerL yes:

March ‘The Scientist’
-    co author with Daniel perry, Richard a miller, Robert n. butler

if can extend healthy life, it would pay longevity dividends, far in excess of anything we could imagine, for indivs and nations

ME: how nations?

Brendon Mayer – editor support for scientist publication

Rationale for pursuing the ‘longevity dividend’ is already in place
-    current medical model will not work in long run

current medical model
-    biological limit to life

pharmaceutical industry

surgical procedures

early detection of disease

already commited ourselves emotionally, financially to extending lifelonglearning

the value of life at every age
-    we value it at every age

by  slowing aging we willl do what no drug, surgical procedure, or behaviour modification can ever do – extend your years of youthful vigor and simiulatenously postpone all t costly, disably, and legal conditions expressed at later ages

‘in pursuit of the longeviry dividend’ – TITLe

operative word is: DELAY

not searching for fountain of youth

not proposing transformation of older people to younger

not stopping or reversing aging process

the words, ‘stopping’ and ‘reversing’ should not be in vocabulary

not dramatic extension of duration of lifelonglearning

‘pursuing health extension’
-    improvement in public health
-    extension of period of youthful health and vigor
-    reductions in frailyy and disability at all ages

if we succeed in delaying aging, bonuses will likely be extn of life and dramatic….

-    7 year delay in boil process of ageing

why 7?
-    it tooko 100 yrs for the total mortality risk of a 74…
-    Olshanksy, carnes and grahn, 1998 – confronting t boundaries…
-    Brody, 1983, prospects for an ageing population, nature
-    The7 is associated with great impact to reduce everything associatd with ageing by half

Longevity dividend
-    calling on congres to invest 3 biillion dollars annually
o    dividends
•    compression of mortality and morbidity
•    reduction in age-specific risk of all diseases
•    reduction health care costs
•    inc indiv and national wealth
•    benefits will occur for lifespan and across generations
•    health and economic benefits will exceed elimination of cancer or hearth disease

if we don’t do this?

For those pushing immortality – this is how you would start doing it

Don’t want people making it too old age extremely frail

Extending Life Span: Scientific prospects and political obstacles
Richard Miller

ME: first says should not talk about radical etension,

Traditional approach to medical research – one disease at a time

But conquering one cancer, for eg, would have limited yield

Antiaging interventions. Solid facts
-    seer caloric restriction increases mean and maximal life span in mice
-    with ex they get old later

now 10 gene mutations that can accomplish same effect

other mutants with lover igf-1 levels also live longer than controls
-    dogs too: low igf-1 and long life span

treat later life diseases as a group

ageing can be delayed by two diets and by each of > 9 genes, in laboratory animals that repsont o many of the same drugs and hormones that we do

ME: comments that those making biggest claims about extension get headlines

Longevity projectopn: the reality Based ™ approach
-    calorific rstriction: 30-40%
-    small dogs: 40%
-    methionine..

thesis: the obstacles to finding a ‘cure’ for aging are 85% political and 15% scientific

research on the ageing process
-    for every $100 us congress spends on medical, 6cents goes to ageing

why haven’t we cured aging yet? (ie learned how to slow)
-    most ‘public’ gerontologist are crackpots and who wants to hang out with that sort of person?

We don’t want to be associated – gi

Eg. Deepak Chopra
Growth Hormne
Mealtonin Miracle

This is clearly a scheme for making money

Why haven’t we cured ageing yet?-
-= is viewed (incoorectly) as incurable

voters relatives died of some diseas, os diseassa have lobbies, so congress spends money on diseases

aging research lobby v small

drugs that actually slow aging cannot be tested in time to show a profit within the ceo’s lifetime

drugs purported to slow aging are highly profitable even though they don’t work

a poiticaian who wants to conquer cancer or conquer aids is a hero

a politician who wants to slow aging is a nut case

people don’t unstd that quickest way to help diseas

socioo of science

scientists follow money

young scientist follow high tech and need papers NOW, alas key biogerontology expts are often low tech and take a few years

to be honest, it’s not that easy to cure..

gerontologiphobia n: a syndrome charac by a fea of what antiaging might do to soc

‘how far could we go. Too far is one possible answer…like drunks with drink, enough is…

the ‘lynch’ position
-    ‘stop research on aging because we don’t want t world to fill up with old people’
-    ethical

if presented to people 200 yrs ago – would people say we don’t want insulin, etc

ethically when:

a)    me only
b)    well ok, you too
c)    but not them. We don’t want the world to fill up with old people, now do we.

Paul Hodge

Thanks peter healey

Baby boomers
Nothing done after this

2005 whitehouse conference dec 14, was asked to testify on policy issues and mentioned baby boomers, but first point was longevity

Questions and Answers

Question from Scot: key issues is delay, but if can do repair, that is better. Why isn’t repair possible?

Jaye: similar concept to Aubrey

Aubrey: difference are to do with feasibility of approaches.

Alex Kalasha from WHO: was at whitehouse conf and disappointing that such advanced nation presented such a poor public debate around science. How optimistic are you with the $3billion?

Jaye: agree with Bob Butler’s conclusion that we need to be ambitious. Buit relative to amount of money on medicaare – $300billion, going ater one disease at a time, is miniscule. This is just the beginning of full court press to go after aging in a much more aggressive way thant we have gone after diseases previously

Tom: must be more connectivity between science and political/social agenda. I don’t think we are saying same thing. I think Aubrey is trying to generate enthusiasm that sidesteps practical problems facing problem. We all want the science to come through, but it doesn’t serve any usefl purpose to extrapolate beyond immediate. No great exptn about extn but might change profile of health.trying to find better way to age, and if that leads to life extension, that’s great.

Jay: aging research should appeal to people. Same goes for why should talk about delay rather than sudden immortaility

Aubrey: cross agency cooperation. In my own work, many exptl scientists not gerontologisty, many working on repair and regeneration technology. Not simply lines on graphs but collaborations. On political side, emphasise that actually it’s perfectly ok to have signif life extn as side benefit to addressing frailty and decline.

Chaotics, Philidelphiaa.: historical  fallacy, several speakers say we are in a special age. Food, etc. no reason to believe we are in any special time or place. In time of Copernicus, Einstein, etc, every time is special. Advances occurring no diff. Aubrey pointed out max planck’s progress thesis, but he might have chosen Voltaire: I have only made but one prayer…please render my enemies ridiculous, and

Donald Bruce: some speakers mentioned the ‘sales pitch’. What is real in this debate? Question of Shakespeare 7 ages of sans…. All the idea of whatever it is you will do, must have so many things right all at once. Getting one or two bits right not enough. Seems a matter of belief rather than evidence.

Tom: how do you know you wont mke things worse? The rate of progress on research on aging is quite slow. Need to know aims and objectives and priorities. You might say it’s a terrible thing to die of heart disease, but it is quick and if solve, then will leave vulnerable to other degenerative diseases, such as alzheimers etc. it is an imp q.

XX: imp but not answerable in rational way 20 years ago, but middle part of talk was about that. What is evidence. By delaying, one does create animals which postpone, together, these diseases.tf, hypothetical worries about creating people that might have other probs is imp, but are ways that we can begin this.

Jay: what happens if we don’t intervene.


Lecture Theatre 5
Sarah Harper and Kenneth Howse
Is more life always a good thing?

Sarah: I am an anthropologist by training, interested in demographic and social. Kenneth has a philosophy background.

Discuss both extending max life span, but also extending normal active healthy life span for everyone in world.

IT is better for everyone to live slightly longer than a few much longer.

Now have 4 or 5 generations alive at same time.


2 scenarios
-    on one side, Jay, Richard and Tom: best prospect of reducing burden of ill health is to go straight for biology of aging
-    everyone endorsed that and concerned to get across to you that this was a good thing, otherwise stick with what current medicine can offer, which is not so useful.
-    They suggested that nobody would argue against this
-    Next to this, is Aubrey’s ideas:

Must consider continuities and discontinuities of these 2 projects.

Not just a feasibility debate.
Must confront gerontophobia

I will lay out the case on behalf of gerontophobia

The question Richard miller flagged up is one that a lot of people have taken very seriously

For eg. Jay mentioned US President’s Council Beyond Therapy, they said ‘let’s suppose we can double life expectancy’ would it be a good thing? General conclusions of that report were mainly sceptical. Commissions report did not come down on one side.

ME: should it have? I don’t think this was its remit. Would we have wanted it to? Public debate. Ethical engagement.

Does Jay’s commitment lead to Aubrey’s vision.

ME: we continually refer to Aubrey’s view in a same way to how we refer to Huxley’s

David Sarfadi, Chaotics: husband of working scientist, when they go into lab, don’t have goal to double lifespan of mouse, for instance. You are altering genes that have effects. Don’t choose which route, it’s what the science renders. If scientist thought was bad idea, would have to kill mouse and tell nobody. Never happens, usually scientist runs to NYT. Society will deal with those choices. Always be confronted with maximal of possibility.

Kenneth: but policy makers decide how much we pay.

David: capital will demonstrate: private funders will begin.

Kenneth: in Europe, worry of inequalities

Bill Baingridge, national science foundation: certainly rtrue that long term goals do shape funding. Rhetoric is that start up companies is on short term goals rather than longer term ones.

XX: do not find 2 approaches mutually exclusive. They will feed each other.

Evelyne Bull, ox student.

Kenneth: if I say yes to Jay, am I committed to Aubrey?

Sarah: public privte us Europe divide.

Raphael Ramirez, oxford: advising on patenting. If life becomes a bnusiness, acceptability of that differes. Nobel prize winner in ox who said whoever igns TRIPS agreement, signed death warrant of tens of thousands of Africans. Human rights vs property rights. Even today can patent mouse in USA. Who owns the findingsa. Is it a good thing? What criteria and ‘for whom’. Who frames this? Not good for some poor somalian.

Kenneth: choice as indiv and collectively.

Rachel Hurst, disability and human rights: assumnption that health is absence of disease and disability. I don’t agree. Whichever side we go down, we need to recog that is humans that we are talking about and are they going to be contained. Whatever way you choose, does it matter, if retaining ethical premise that are dealing with human beings.

Sue (Oxford): assumption that longer means happier.

Anil Gupter: is strongter, etc a better life. Health not absense of sickness, it is well-being.  What is a good thing? When communities.  Society not appreciated handicaps of those who do not see those of others.

ME: allocation of resources as assertion about what is happiness.

Robin Hanson, Economist: often float into abstractions. Prospect of doubling. We have already doubled our lifespan.

ME: is is thte same kind of doubling. Is doubling the issue?

Question: disting ‘whether’ from ‘what if’. Policy has tendency to react to convergent of diff hells. What are hells and heavens in traking this forward.

Donald Bruce: anthropology: what is our ustdg of the human.  Premise is based on functional part of us.  Diminished view of human. I was once on a sci fi programme – ‘what would it be like to live forever’ what do you do after 2000 years. Ok, stupid scenario. Fact that prince charles not king at his age, phenomenon exponential in this situation.

Sarah: finality, goals, – must keep that within human condition. Mustn’t negate that side.

ME: a ritual death?

Question: reproductive span should go to 80-90 yrs old.

Wolfgang Luca: don’t think will hit 9billion level of population, because birthrate decline. Glad that reproduction has been added to reproduction. Why gerontophobia is with diffciculty of imagining.  If assume 3-4 yrs inc per decade, then in west Europe, third of entire population above 80. Prob for legal pension. V little poss for change. Life expectancy goes beyond state increase in retirement age.

Jerry Rav, JMI: is there a culture where is accepted for people to dcide when to go. People in good health.

Gupter: in border of west Bengal and Bangladesh, is custom that go to forest and death by tiger eating you is most devine death.

Sarah: aboriginal – indivs do decide that burden they place on society means they should die. But these are problematic discussions.

James (JMI): by what criteria do we measure a good life. Having discussion about people as indivs planning to life extend as long as poss. Not sure psychologically a good idea. People make choices that involve a whole range of issues. One of obvious techniques of life extension is constrained calorifgic intake – opposite side of prob with obesity. Raises prob. People make choices in that context – taking too much, which makes you live less. These are issues of preventative medicine and public health. People don’t choose to make choices. Am I reasding this issue of calorific intake right. Biggest medical issue at moment is absolute opposite of that.  Food and life choices and risk taking in a social context.

Kenneth: fair amount of disagreement

James: healthcare funding so stilted towards treatement rather than preventionl

??: if we’re right about fertility decline in developing countries, major prob not aging but reproduction.

Srah: various myths about aging. By 2050 2 billion people in developing nations over 50.. not just a developed world problem.

Bill SharpE:  continuity/discontinuity thesis.  Systemic prob. Community in formation here. Contention over goals. None of them know degree of continuity between 2 goals. They are self admitting that we cant tell. Is it worth it? Clearly yes. I have had pleasure watching parents move into 90s. every year has been worth it for them. Only issue is when problems become insurmountable. Tigers as good as some alternatives. Living and learning has indefinite pleasure and learning. Gandhi: live as if you die tomorrow and learn as if you will live forever.

Kahn, oxford:  main issue arising for devle countries. What would be the healthy life expectancy, not expectancy at all.

Michael Morrison, Uni of Nottingham: medical and social ideas of health. Strong strteam of technological determinism.


Chair: Zhanfeng Cui

Ellen Heber-Katz

Regrowth of tissue

Tissue remodelling during regeneration

DL Stocum

Transfer cells across scar tissue

If can identify cell might be able tccccccccccccccccc

Kevin Warwick

I, Robot with Will Smith

Last implant was chip into nervous system. 100 electrodes fired into medial nerve in left arm – 10,000 nerve fibres, receive sensory signals.

Not as reported in guardian that fits into top pocket, but it was fired into nervous system. Each pin is 1.5mm long. Nerve fibres are 3.5-4mm in diameter.

What could we do with it.

Link with computer

Human senses 5% of world around them – stats from CERN.

ME: how is this different from extra sensory experience through drug use?

Ultra sonic and infrared

What is difference between tv having it and you having it, ethically?

Future of research

With wife, did direct telegraphic nervous system link – brain to brain

Remaining humans will be sub-set.

Stem cell research and its ethical considerations in china
Pei Xuetao, Beijing institute of transfusion medicine, stem cell research center

Selfrenewal (Extensive or unlimited)
Multilineage differentation
Engraftment and repopulation

Stem cells can undergo self-renewal

Stem cells – foundation of regenerative medicine

Big problem with aging in china

Number of stem cell and regen med research projects funded by NSFC annually from 199-2005

Two projects for stem cell research and another two projects for tissue engi neering supported by t Chinese national key project of basic research

Ethical considerations of human embryonic stem cells big issue now

Basic principles of life ethics
-    respect, non-mal, beneficience, justice

use of stem cell technology
-    replaceable tissues/organs
-    repair defective cell types
-    gene therapy
-    chemotherapy
-    drug discover
-    tumour therapy

ethical debate – i: derivation of ESCs
-    harvesting es cells destroys t blastocyst
-    ‘this is murder’
-    how to think about embryo, t dispute tht if embryo is a living life has become focus question on each side of dispute

human life, hnumanbeing or human person

definition of personhood
- conscio0usly performing personal acts elmi

worldwide cloning research legislation

illegal in china

ethical debate III
-    any kinds of

etihical debate in chona
-    gov: against reprod cloning, support therapeutic
-    scientist: balance sci freedom with erthical constraint
public: hESC should not be banned
Confucian: human embryo not a person
Buddhistic: reincarnation occurs at birth

Ethical Guidelines and regulations for Human ES cell research in china
Promiulagated by the ministroy of sc I and technology

Principled stance of china gov
-    support biotech
-    acknowl and observe international basic principle
-    banning human clopning

image of person standing by wal with shadow projecting. At top of wall is apple. Person is reaching for it.

Human Assistance/Function Augmentation/Capability Enahncement by Robotic Advanced Technologies
Nagoya University

Safety, security health
-    environment, daily life, war and terrorism, product, health, ITS, communication, plant

Transition of work area
-    manufacturing industry
-    sensing, recognition, adaptation, learning, security
-    service industry
o    medical robot
o    care robot
o    transfer system
o    security
o    competition (RoboCup, Sport)

Humanoid Robot

Rehabilitation Robot

Society in 21st century

Comfortable space using Robot Technology and Information Technology
- in home or

human support technology
1.    physical support, sensory/actuation augmentation
2.    skill support; dexterity/experience, language
3.    intelligence support, information, communication, knowledge, augmentation, enhancement, decision making

human machine symbiosis
1.    cell level
2.    human and unit level (arm leg)
3.    multi human and indiv level (multirobot)
4.    organic device level (stomach, heart)
5.    human and indiv level (one to one)
6.    network level (multi robot and multihuman through network)


-    quiz, Questions and Answers
-    email retrieval
-    reaction of touch sensor

communication with CRF
multi-scale bio-operations

engineering, bio, medical

Summary: stronger?
-    human friendly robnotic technology to be advanced ofr aged society
-    physical/skill/intelligence supports realizable in near future
-    domains for applications: experts in medical and others. Daily life support for disabled and aged
-    usage: depends on human decision back to society

natika XXX: amazement and alarm; only available to only those who can afford it

Donald bruce:

Norton, uni of dankstedt: interested in japan and robotics. What do you think about Kevin warwick. You want to make robots work for us, he wants to be one. Who is better off?


The Nature of Human Natures?

Chair: James Tansey
James Hughes, James J.

Lee Silver




Cognitive Enhancement

Forms of enhancing intelligence

Stimulants (Lee and Ma, 1995)
Nutrients and hormones (Martinez and Kesner 1991)
Cholinergic agonists (McGaugh and Petrinoc 1995, Levin 1992, Buccafusco, et al 1995)
Piracetam famly
Consolidation enhancers

Learning enhancement for unlearning phobias and addictions (Pittman 2002; hall 2003)

Animal models

Genetic enhancement of memory

Pre- and perinatal enhancement
-    giving choline supp to pregnant rats improves performance of pups (Meck, Smith and Williams 1987; Mellott et al 2004)

external software and hardware enhancements

multielectrode recordings from more than 300 electrodes (Nicolelis et al 2003, Carmena et al 2003, Shenoy et al 2003)
Kennedy and Makay 1998
Alteheld et al 2004, von Wild et al 2002

Neuromorphic engineering
Classical AI

Psychopharmacology of cognitive enhancement
Dr Danielle Turner, Uni of Cambridge

An espresso at three in the morning is just so last year, article form Stephen Phillips (THES, last week)

Most people engage with some form of enhancement almost every day

Effective cognitive enhancement for patients
-    quality of life
-    benefits to patient, family, society

drugs as tools to investigate how the normal brain works

to improve cognitio0n in healthy indivs
for eg
-    military

one-touch tower of London planning task


Questions and Answers

Daniel Reynolds

Jennifer Swift

Lucy Kimble, SAID: will robots be smart enough to bring up children

James Tansey – ‘dyfunctional’ people often are most high performing
Joel: why would an athlete want to use modafinil?

Danielle: when Kelly white took, was not a specifically banned substance. Not sure if would enhance. Perhaps makes less impulsive.


Danielle: first time take Ritalin, performance improves. Only helps in novel situation. When familiar, it drops.

Chris, nanotech, Santa Barbera: cognitive effects of hockey stick (graph curve)

David Wood (Scottish, mobile phone industry)

Alfred nordmann – nordmann@phil.tu-darmstadt.de


Susan Greenfield

Healthier and longer lives
Increased leisure
Expectation of happiness

The thin line…between therapy and lifestyle

Drugs work by
-    increasing chemical messewnger (speed)
-    slow down removal (cocaine)
-    empty stores (ecstacy)
-    block it acting (trancquiliers)
-    act as imposter (heroin)
-    making trarget more /less sensitive (addiction)

cure for life experiences
-    flu
-    feeling blue
-    about to pig-out
-    moody
-    shy
-    need energy?
-    Too much energy
-    Stupid

Taking a drug might not make you better

Efficacy of smart drug determined by baseline – ie more XX your attention more effective they willl be

So called transhumanist idea probc

Difference between well-being and happiness

-    if medicate, not making them ecstatically happy
-    outside world remote
-    colourless
-    emptionally numb
-    little movement
-    anhedonia

opposite of this ‘active happiness’

screen induced as well as drug induced – plays some computer game footage.

Are we going to live in this cyberworld which will not giove us the kind of happiness that we really want

Total abandonment

Susan Greenfield – Tomorrow’s People

Alleviation of suffering
Active abandonment

-    Techno-ism: no indiv, no fulfilment
-    Fundamentalism: fulfilment, no individual
-    Consumerism: indiv, no fulfilment
-    ..or we could use to development new technology
o    eureka moment! Basis for happiness.

Professor Lord Richard Layard
LSE, Economics, Centre for Economic Performance – Programme on Well-being
Welfare to work; chaired UN Universities Economic ; Happiness: lessons from  – published march now translated into 11 languages

Happiness is simpler. A single dimension of various emotions.

David Nutt

Already there?
-    happy pills
o    pejorative term by both right and left wing media with antipathy to t drug treatment of depression
o    refer usually to antidep especially new ones, aprtic SSRIs (Prozac, Seroxat, Lustral)
o    previously benzodiazepines (Valium, Ativan)
o    but none of these make people happy

potential routes for inc happi
-    decrease stress
o    amines – 5HT (noradrenaline) etc
o    peptides – especially hpa axis
-    active ‘happiness’ circuits
o    opiates, alcohol-like, ecstacy-like, drugs
o    intracranial stimulation (deep brain stimulation)

nick baylis

not happiness, but improvement – in life.
Invest in healthy relationships

Donald bruce

Broken shower story

Nuclear energy industry


What can go wrong….

-    would have known that he cheated if he had used a pill to beat dave Bedford

would we see drug induced athlete as epitome of human ability or something else.

Are there rules about human race? If we step outside, are we less human?


Stem Cell research

Current Policy in Europe

China, loose standards of ethical review.


Human genome project progress through huge global collaboration

Not poss with stem cell because some countries ban it

One of probs is

English researchers want to collab with china or India, but heldback because funding bodies concerned about how the research is carried out in development world
-    woo sung wong controversty (korea) – were supposed to come to the conference

Jerry Shatens

Flexible regulation with respect to research

Australia initially rejected cloning research and is now revisiting that

Has had a lot of attention in the media

‘funding bodies must take adequate steps to satisfy themselves that those they fund intend to carry out their research ethically and in accordance with relevant national regulations and appropriate international guidance as it emerges’.

Questions and Answers

Question: if woman consented to organ donation, would it be ethical to remove her eggs.

Julian: healthy young eggs better for research than older eggs. Science would like eggs from young healthy women, but many people’s intuition. Risks of donation eggs, small but real. Superobviation drugs associated with rare but lethal conditions

What risks can healthy individuals undergo for research? I say ‘quite significant’, but others say much less.

John harris and savulescu: like a horse race. What matters is which horse crosses the lline first, but cannot and should not back just one horse – must be collaborative.


Enhancement and Fairness,
Julian Savulescu

George Annas ‘improved, posthumans would inevitably come to view the ‘naturals’ as inferor, as  subspecies….

Francis Fukuyama
-    ‘the first victim of transhumanism might be equality…underlying this idea…

Bill McKibben
-    these would be mere consumer decisions – but aht also means that they would benefit the rich far more than the poor’

nothing new about enhancement
-    rich buy better
o    education
o    health care
o    technology

these can alter biology
direct biological intervention raises no new ethical issues
-    just a question of which theory of justice goven socity

4 concepts
- 1. Fairness or justice
2. enhancement
3. natural distribution of capabilities and disabilities
1. fairness/justice
- util
egal: strict equality; rawls maximnl

john Mackie ‘rights, utility, and universalisation’
-    right to fair go

maximising version of giving peoplpe a ‘fair go’
-    give as many people as poss a decent (reasonable) chance of decent (good) life

-    makes our lives better
-    increases t chance of us having a good life – instrumental goods (health, wealth)

biological – mor beautiful, stronger
psychology – better person
social, incliuding socially determined environment – cleaner air, better osiac secuiorty
controversial – biological or internal technological enhacenemtns – focus on these

enhamcement, disability, and capability

well-being: how well a life goes (goodness); difficult to distribute well-being
capability: state of person that inc probab of achieving a good life
disability: state of person…

what is a disability?

Typically, deafness etc

But is context dependent

Atopic tendency
-    asthma in developed world
-    potection against worm infestation in devl world

need to fix or predict social or other environment circums

biology/psychology as capability/disability
-    biological or psychology state can be predicted as ether
-    biologica contributes to health but how well life goes
-    we are all disabled

eg self control
-    in 1960s Walter Mischel conducted impulse control, 4 year old children with marshmellow, request resist, but if not give two. Followed up and the ‘delay gratification’ more likely to succeed – impulse control

other categories
capacity to work hard or be lazy – gene therapy in monkeys

Buchanan, Brock, Daniels and Wikler (‘all purpose goods’
-    intelligence, memory, self-discipline, foresight….

Autonomy enhancing traits
Moral character

Genes, not men, may hold the key to femal pleasure’- genes accounted for 31% of the chance of having an orgasm during intercourse and 51% during masturbation

3. distribution of capabilities and disabilities

not distrib equally

eg. Intelligence. – normal distribution

example performance enhancement in sport: EPO
-    natural hormone produced by kidney which stim red blood celss prod
-    Eero Maentyranta: 3 medals, had 40-50% more red blood cells

Correcting natural inequality
-    increase red blood cell level
o    natural

we could efficiently set red blood cell level
-    safety
-    performance

-    test of natural biology?
-    We want to reward naturally best

In sport, only one winner

No reason why there has to be a person who comes last in life

If unit not red cells, but units of the good life
-    is it really just that there is a natural distrib in how well life goes

social not biological enhancement
-    good reasons to prefer social rather than biological
o    if safer, more likely to be successful, if justice requires it, etc
o    but vice versa – sometimes cheaper, easier, and fairere to alter biology

responses to bioconservatives
-    nature alots advantage and disadv with no mind to fairness
-    enhancement improves peoples lives
-    how well t lives of those who are disav go depends on

-    fairness requires enhancement
-    failing to enahcnce may result in signif injustice (supervaccine)
-    conservatives guilty of social detemrinism

When /if Longer, faster strong, smarter life is happier: reflectins on slower, sustainable and more inclusive life experiences
Anil Gupta

disabled or differently abled?

When live longer do we exp more?

What is purpose of more meaningful lifelonglearning
-    accommodates community happiness
-    sensitivey towards children

what is human capital?
-    depth of social networks fo which one is a aprt
-    how do we enhance this depth
-    are we afraid of being in company of other normal impulsive, intuitive and inspirational people

ways of knowing
-    knowing, feeling and doing

who is smarter, stronger and stable?
-    smartness lies in sharing opps

Towards a Fairer Distribution of Technology…
Zhao Yangdong

Inequality and immunisatin

Gregor Wolbring

Enhancement would be doping

Link enhancement products to health

2 chjoices

WHO definition – complete social well-being not just absence of disease
-    social well-being still part of health

more common now is well-being above and health is a determinant of it

for today, health is seen as just medical health

transhjumanist model of health
-    no matter how conventionally medically healthy, body is defined as limited and in need of modification

‘everyone is impaired’
-    Rachel also said this, but with diff connotation

Amatyra sen

David nutt
-    pharma not going into happier drugs – cannot sell in medical framework so too many probs

transhumanisation of medicalisation


Enhancement, Justice and rights: immortality
John Harris

Art Panel



Polar produce, mixed media experiences
Ma, music within therapeutic context

What kinds of knowledge do art/design practitioners have?

Why – it’s I the mix, baby’
Languages and knowledges
Lens and frames

Difference between artist and scientist

Approach, language, tools, privileging certain types of knowledge, methods, outcomes, reception, interpretations

-    cyclic creative processes, question finding, depth and explorationh, knowledge generation, outputs/outcomes, transformations

ME: artists believe they are the only ones who are marginal

Blurring the traditional ‘audience-spectator’ relationships – where the audience becomes part of the performance – and the performer becomes a member of the audience

Tina Gonsalves
UCL Cognitive Sci,
AHRC, ACE fellowship

She had read some pieces

Mobile phone project with University of Toronto

Rama gheerawo
Research fellow and programme leader
Designing the future through working with users
The Helen hamlyn research centre
Royal College of Art]

Inclusive design
Disability discrimination act 2004

Video ethnography

Utility pets
Elio caccavale

GM pets that do not give you the allergy

Translator for dog

Cloning pets

Genetic saving and clone, inc

Transgenic, ornamental fish, taikong corp

Utility pet memento form
-    request part of animal to be preserved


social fiction scenario



Baroness Sally Greengross

Can we make it fair
What is role of state (government bodies)
Poss to do it without them?

Wolfgang Lutz
Vienna Institute of Demography
Austrian Academy of Sciences

Suzi Leather

Spain, compensation of €900 for egg donation – how consistent with altruism?

Last year, euro parliament raised profile on Romanian clinic – led to government intervention

Concern about people trafficking

If we could only enhance one charac or trait, which one would we choose if we wanted to enhance the greatest benefit for humanity as a whole?

Creativity and Governance
Christopher Newfield

Uni of California, santa barbera
Cultural theorist and anti-dualist
Centre for nanotechnolo

Disjunction between economic thought and cultural thought

The Innovator’s Dilemma
-    clayton m christenen

open science model

minimum proprietary, peer review, open pub:
1.    tell the people
2.    listen to the people

better model

governance is governmentality, not just regulation (Foucault)
-    care for all t elements of a system in their relations

-    Coleridge: intventions are ‘proofs of original genius only as far as they are modified by a predominant passion, or…when a human and intellectual life is transffered to them from the poet’s own spirit’

The creative process
-    mihaly csikszentmihalyi (+CN)
o    preparation
o    incubation
o    insight
o    evaluation
o    elaboration

governance (governmentality) must support this for community members

governing collaborations
-    Simonton, rhotgen, 2003, seibold, henwfield

Maximising innovation is to set up a social system

Better model
1.    governance is governmentality, not just regulation
2.    better modelled as collaborative creativity than as markets, regulation or top-down management (but includes these)
3.    collaborative creativity works much better with equality in relations , in labs (valued ‘bridges’)
4.    analogy among nations: innovation cannot be separated from justice
5.    governance via global institutions promoting egalitarian communication among the diverse knowledge of all stakeholders

better model
-    from ‘the lexus or the olive tree’

to innovation via justice

Questions and Answers

Question: egg donation is uncomfortable and not without risk, if no compensation, why would a woman do this?

Suzi: sheer altruism is one, but v few people. All donors extensively counselled. Physical and emotional risks. In uk, we do allow egg sharing – in exchnge for reduce cost. Ie woman using ivf to give away some of eggs to 1 or 2 other women and recompensed in kind with reduced cost for treatment. If open system of donation, poss that fewer people will come through, but might deal with by targeting donor. Earlier, sperm donation was 18-24, now are 35-40 yr olds.

James Hughes:

Suzi: challenge your view that regulation restricts. In uk, not true. Clear benefit. What does restrict is that this is not available on NHS and this is by far most imp issue. Most generous country is Israel. – all about state funding. Perhaps with ageing popultion this will improve elsewhere.

Anders: if free innovation is needed in governmentality, if have more bridges, prob is that transdisciplinarity, but gov structure wil have prob getting solutions, restfucture government? Complementary institutions?

Chris Newfield: practical construction  effort

Donald Bruce: is there distinction between enhancement and medical? HFEA has embodied that on sex selection for family balancing. Council of Europe has embodied on convention on human rights and biomedicine – sex selection only for serious gender related genetic disease. What is rationale for the distinction? It is one I support, but is it valid as result of distinction?

Suzi: evidence is that public does think can draw clear distinction between selection for family balancing and disease, for instance. Do I think this will hold? No I don’t. I thjink it will be increasingly difficult to do that. One of the reasons is because any kind of disadvantage that can be conceived of as a disability, parents will say ‘I must have this’. I must be able to have a child that doesn’t suffer from x, y or z.

Shefield institute for biotech:

Dave Wood: which charac should we enhance? If spread too far, get nowhere. becom

June 30th, 2009

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