I’ve recently joined the ad board of this new think tank in Switzerland. They’ve got an awesome amount of materials online already and publish in both English and French. Keep your eyes peeled for some cool things.
Troubling Classifications: Categorizing Chimeras and Enacting Species Preservation
Dr Carrie Friese
Lecturer in the Sociology of the Life Sciences and Biomedicine
11th June 2009 5pm – 7pm
H102 (First Floor, Connaught House)
This paper asks how chimeras, particularly puzzling biological organisms that have garnered significant attention as of late, are being officially classified in the specific situation of endangered species preservation. Based on a qualitative study of endeavours to clone endangered animals in the United States, I contend that biology alone cannot determine the classification of these interspecies organisms. Rather, categorizing chimeras requires metaphoric, schematic references to more familiar entities. Here culture and biology are tools for classification. Building on Adele Clarke’s method of positional mapping, I show that positions on classification represent an intermediary space between thought and action in elaborating a discourse of cloning endangered wildlife, which shapes the meaning of wildlife animals, the practices of preservation and zoos, and the materiality of endangered species.
All welcome, no ticket required. Seats allocated on a first-come, first served basis.
Map of LSE and surrounding area: http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/mapsAndDirections/
This seminar will be followed by a drinks reception in the BIOS Centre, V1100 (11th floor, Tower 2).
Giving talk at Sheffield Uni on 9 June – Nanotechnology and Postmodern Culture
What kind of future is nanotechnology creating for us? What will it mean to be human in the twenty-first century?Professor Richard Jones (Physics and Astronomy), Dr Alex Houen (English), and Professor Andy Miah (Media, Language and Music, University of the West of Scotland)
February 24, 2009
IEET fellow Andy Miah will be speaking at the one day workshop for the European Parliament in Brussels, on Tuesday 24 February 2009
Sponsored by the Rathenau Institute
Human enhancement is the trend to improve the body & mind of human beings by technological means. Examples are the use of “smart pills” to improve concentration or cosmetic surgery. Other examples are selecting embryos that are genetically disease-free to use in an IVF procedure, mood brightening drugs or devices.
These and other technologies promise benefits for the individual using them, but what are the long-term effects? Will human enhancement enlarge social and economic differences? And will the health care remain affordable? Should research into such technologies be stimulated or not? We believe that there are three strategies that the EU could take in response to the challenges human enhancement will pose to the EU. We think that human enhancement raises serious challenges to the EU, and we have identified three strategies that the EU could take to respond to these.
These strategies will be presented by and discussed with experts during the workshop. Some more information on human enhancement, the challenges it poses, the three strategies, and the workshop can be found in the attached information folder.
The workshop is a part of our project on human enhancement. The goal of the project is to provide policy options on human enhancement to the European Parliament. This project is commissioned by the European Parliament and is carried out by ITAS and the Rathenau Institute. We will incorporate the debate during the workshop in the final report.
The workshop will be held on 24 February 2009 in the European Parliament (Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Brussels). The first part of the workshop will be from 12.45 to 14.15 in room ASP 5F385 and will explore which of the three strategies will be most suitable for the EU. During this part of the workshop, a sandwich lunch will be provided.
The second part of the workshop will be held in room ASP 5G2 from 14.45 to 16.30. In this part, the strategies will be put to the test and will be thoroughly debated – hopefully by you as well!
If you want to attend the workshop, you need to register by sending an e-mail with subject “workshop human enhancement” to info @ rathenau.nl before 16 February 2009. This e-mail should include your name, nationality and date of birth. This information is necessary to ensure your access to the European Parliament and will be treated confidentially.
Please do not hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions about the workshop or our project.
Martijntje Smits and Mirjam Schuijff
E-mail: m.smits @ rathenau.nl or m.schuijff @ rathenau.nl
Telephone: + 31 70 342 15 42
Researcher Technology Assessment
(0031) 70 34 21 524
Anna van Saksenlaan 51
2593 HW The Hague
2509 CJ THE HAGUE (NL)
The Rathenau Institute focuses on the influence of science and technology on our daily lives and maps its dynamics; through independent research and debate.
A BEIJING OLYMPICS CULTURAL PROJECT
National Art Museum of China (NAMOC)
No. 1 Wusi Street Dongcheng District
Beijing 100010 P.R.ChinaJun 10, 2008 -July 3, 2008
During the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the National Art Museum of China will present “SYNTHETIC TIMES – Media Art China 2008” in its current location at the center of Beijing. NAMOC is the only national art museum in China that is dedicated to research, presentation and promotion of modern and contemporary arts. “SYNTHETIC TIMES – Media Art China 2008”, scheduled from June 10th to July 3rd, will be one of the most important cultural events leading up to the Olympic Games in Beijing.
The exhibition will occupy approximately 4500 square meters (48000 square feet) of the museum gallery space and an additional outdoor area of ca. 2000 square meters (22000 square feet). The internationally recognized Dutch architecture firm NOX/Lars Spuybroek will architecturally transform the entire first floor of the museum in response to the nature of the works on display. A full-color catalogue will be co-published by NAMOC and the MIT Press to accompany the opening (with international distribution). An online forum dedicated to the discourse of the respective exhibition themes and beyond will be created prior to the opening of the event. A pre-Exhibition symposium will be held in New York City in collaboration with MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) and other major cultural and educational institutions. The forum and the subsequent symposia will be moderated by a group of distinguished scholars and media arts professionals. Selected discussion essays will be included in the catalogue. Meanwhile, a number of satellite exhibition venues have been planed within the greater Beijing art community, engaging prominent galleries of the booming Beijing art scene. In addition, a number of special evening events during the opening days of the Exhibition are conceived to celebrate countries with significant contribution to the development of media art and culture.
Synthetic Times – Media Art China 2008 will showcase both established and emerging artists from approximately thirty countries, and over fifty media art installation works will be on view along with performances, workshops, presentations and discussion panels. To complement the theme exhibitions, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will contribute a special screening program consisting of seminal video art works. Ars Electronica is set to present the award winning Animation Festival while European Media Art Festival will bring in an edition of International Emerging Video Art. The Exhibition is envisaged as a landmark event in the history of contemporary Chinese art dedicated to embracing the most innovative artistic production and theorization to date, and aspiring to foster and advance new modes of thinking and novel ways of artistic engagement in an increasingly technologically immersed society and global cultural landscape, resonating with the leitmotifs of “Cultural Olympics” and “Hi-Tech Olympics” put forward by the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Supported by the Chinese government, international cultural foundations as well as embassies from the participating countries, renowned museums and media art institutions worldwide will collaborate with NAMOC to produce the Exhibition and its related events.
I just received my copy of the new publication from the US President’s Council on Bioethics. This volume looks like a great addition to the literature. Human dignity featured heavily in my Genetically Modified Athletes and is a concept I am continually drawn back to when thinking about the range of issues arising from discussions about human enhancement.
Climate Change, Political Action and the Future of the Human
An interdisciplinary workshop series, June 2008 – January 2009, held in Manchester.
3 one day workshops to explore the ideas, beliefs and motivations underpinning political responses to climate change.
A chance for activists, academics, practitioners, and concerned individuals working on political responses to climate change to come together with questions, solutions, experience, and ideas.
Workshop 1: “What is to be done? Apocalyptic Rhetoric and Political Action”
June 13, 2008
Workshop 2: “What Price Security? New Issues in the Ethics of Risk”
September 19, 2008
Workshop 3: “A World Without Us? Imagining the End of the Human”
January 16, 2009
Free to attend, but places limited! See the website for registration.
Short abstracts for ‘starter papers’ invited for each workshop. See the website for submission deadlines
All Workshops held at Bridge 5 Mill (MERCi) <https://owa.liv.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.merci.org.uk/merci.php> , Manchester’s own centre for sustainable living
Please circulate widely!
Dr. Stefan Skrimshire
Post Doctoral Research Associate in Religion and Politics
School of Arts, Histories and Cultures
Samuel Alexander Building
The University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL
tel: 0161 306 1663
Transhuman minds? Is cognitive enhancement a human right?
Tuesday 11th March 2008, 3-6pm
The Royal Society of Medicine, London W1G 0AE
The development of cognitive enhancement has meant the phrase “give your brain a boost” now brings with it a range of connotations which have never been experienced thus far in human history. The convergence of nano-, bio- and information technology with cognitive science promises many interesting forms of cognitive enhancement. Neurobiology is expanding our understanding of how the brain works in association with neural systems and information technology is providing vastly improved signal processing capabilities for use in neurobiological research. Accompanying such advances, cognitive neuroscience is pushing back the traditional boundaries of cognitive psychology to broaden understanding with regard to the interaction between brain structure, function and cognition.
The prospect of being able to enhance human cognition presents a nexus of questions associated with future ambitions, hopes and concerns. Should individuals be allowed the freedom and the right to decide for themselves how best to use enhancement technologies? Is government intervention and regulation required in order for both individuals and society to thrive through the use of enhancement technologies? Or does the very notion of human essence prohibit enhancement in all its forms?
BioCentre invites you to an assessment of what cognitive enhancement promises and how best to harness its potential informed by leading specialists in the field.
Speakers will include:
Professor Ruud ter Meulen
Professor of Ethics in Medicine, University of Bristol
Dr. Anders Sandberg
James Martin Research Fellow, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University
Dr. Daniela Cerqui
Social and Cultural anthropologist, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Dr. Donald Fitzmaurice (tbc)
Director of ePlanet Ventures, former Professor of Nanotechnology, University
The discussion will be chaired by Professor Nigel M de S Cameron, Executive
Chairman of BioCentre: Centre for Bioethics & Public Policy.
RSVPs are required. Please include your name and the organisation that you represent in your response. There is no charge for the event.
e: email@example.com / t: 0207 227 4706
Today, I attended FACT’s seminar for artists and professionals, based around their Human Futures exhibition. The conversations were broadly about the practice of art processes and how we should proceed with artistic undertakings.
One of the most interesting conversations I had was with Olivier Goulet who indicated he was very interested in my view. He immediaely reminded me of Alfredo, of Irene and Alfredo. I want to hook them up together, for Irene to sell his clothes in her ‘sustainable clothing’ shop in Barcelona.
We talked a lot about his work and I was very interested in how his clothing made from synthetic
human skin were received by audiences. He explained that the removal of the word ‘human’ from publicity led to quite different responses, all of which were really fascinating. The clothes he makes are beautiful; incredibly stylish, trendy and wearable. He’s performing tomorrow night and we’ll hope to see him, but here’s SkinBag: http://www.skinbag.net/
Last night was the launch of the Human Futures exhibit SK-interfaces at FACT. It was really extraordinary and nice to see some friends come over for the event. The highlight was the performance of http://www.yannmarussich.ch ‘Blue Remix’. Photos are in my Flickr photoset. this image is of his assistant and I was moved by the care and attention this man gave to the whole process. Made me wish i could take better photographs.
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