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Two presentations to address ethics of human enhancement technologies
The Nanoethics Group to Speak at Conference at Stanford University
Posted on May 08, 2006
The Nanoethics Group today announced that
it has been invited to speak at the Human Enhancement Technologies and Human
Rights conference at Stanford University Law School on May 26-28, 2006. As
technology rapidly advances, predicted innovations - such as bionic suits
that give its wearer super-strength and implantable computer chips that
increase mental abilities - bring both new hope for improving the human
condition as well as important ethical and policy questions.
Organized by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET), the
conference features more than 50 prominent experts to discuss both sides of
the heated debate over human enhancement, which is gaining global attention
and momentum. The conference's keynote speakers include Ron Bailey, science
correspondent for Reason magazine, and William Hurlbut, M.D., Stanford
University professor and member of the President's Council for Bioethics.
As part of the conference, Patrick Lin, Ph.D., research director for The
Nanoethics Group, will take a high-level look at recent arguments in favor
of human enhancement, concluding that they need repair. Separately, Fritz
Allhoff, Ph.D., senior fellow of the organization and assistant professor at
Western Michigan University, will examine the specific issue of germ-line
genetic enhancements, i.e., genetic modifications that can be passed on to
future generations, to defend the practice against several objections.
"It's difficult not to be excited about the prospect of having superhuman
abilities or living for an extra 100 years or more," explained Dr. Allhoff.
"But it may be irresponsible to head into that choice without thinking
through its implications, since such technologies are bound to change
society. As this important conference promises to show, there are good
arguments on both sides of the debate, and while we think it may be too
early to draw any definitive conclusions, it's never too early to get more
people engaged and thinking about this issue and their own future."
The conference is also co-sponsored by the Center for Cognitive Liberty and
Ethics, Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences, and Stanford Program in
Ethics in Society. For more information, please click
here. Dr. Lin's paper can be accessed here. Dr. Allhoff's paper can be
accessed here (PDF).
About Nanoethics Group:
The Nanoethics Group is a non-partisan and independent research organization
formed to study nanotechnology's impact on society and related ethical
issues. As professional ethicists, we help to identify and evaluate
possible harms and conflicts as well as to bring balance and common sense to
the debate. Our mission is to educate and advise both organizations and the
broader public on these issues as a foundation to guide policy and
For more information, please click here.
Patrick Lin, Ph.D.
The Nanoethics Group
Copyright © Nanoethics Group
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