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Extropy Institute's Vital Progress Summit Challenges President Bush's Bioethics Council Report

Extropy Institute

Austin, Texas. February 20th, 2004

Extropy Institute has invited top scientific, technological, and cultural thinkers to address President Bush's Bioethics Council Report (link) released in October and exchange ideas on helping the public better understand how biotechnology and science can improve and extend life.

The Internet-based Vital Progress Summit is presenting a two-week virtual discussion and debate on President Bush's Bioethics Council's ultraconservative report Beyond Therapy starting February 15 through 29. Summit keynotes by Aubrey de Grey, Ray Kurzweil, Prof. Marvin Minsky, Michael West, Max More, Roy L. Walford, and Gregory Stock and other thought leaders will counter the "Beyond Therapy" report and address the use of the "Precautionary Principle" by anti-biotech activists and Luddites as a rallying tool to turn people against the science, medicine and biotechnology that could cure disease and improve life.

Protecting Human Rights for Our Future "We have a responsibility to protect ourselves, our children and our loved ones in determining what choices to make about the future of our health," said Natasha Vita-More, President of Extropy Institute and Chair of the Vital Progress Summit. "No one has the right to tell us that must go into old age crippled or feeble. No organization, no policy, no person should have the absolute power and authority to hinder scientific and medical advances that can and do help millions of people throughout the world. Negative reaction to the possibility of fundamental progress in these fields threatens to stifle innovations that can make major improvements in the quality of life of people throughout the world.

The Vital Progress Summit is being held on the Internet click here. To register click here. For more information on the VP Summit, contact or call 512.263.2749.

"The Vital Progress Summit forms the first phase in the continuing online summits," added Vita-More. "We aim to achieve distinct, practical results. Early deliverables expected from the Summit include a concise response to the current use of the Precautionary Principle, a policy and values statement to counter the "Beyond Therapy" report, and resources for Internet users.

Summit Keynoters

  • Ronald Bailey, Science Correspondent, Reason
  • Aubrey de Grey, Ph.D., Professor, University of Cambridge, Department of Genetics
  • Robert A. Freitas Jr., J.D., Nanomedicine
  • Raymond Kurzweil, Author, The Age of Spiritual Machines
  • Max More, Ph.D., Philosophical Strategist, Elements of a New Enlightenment: Strategic Philosophy
  • Prof. Marvin Minsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Society of Mind
  • Christine Peterson, President Foresight Institute, Leaping the Abyss: Putting Group Genius to Work
  • Prof. Michael D. Shapiro, Professor of Law, University of Southern California Law School
  • Lee Silver, Ph.D. Professor at Princeton University in the Department of Molecular Biology
  • Gregory Stock, Ph.D., Director, Program on Medicine, Technology, and Society, UCLA
  • Natasha Vita-More, Designer, “Primo Posthuman,” 1 on One Prescription for Fitness
  • Roy L. Walford, M.D., Professor of Pathology at the UCLA School of Medicine, Maximum Life Span
  • Michael West, Ph.D., President and CEO, Advanced Cell Technology

About Extropy Institute Extropy Institute, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, has made a name for itself as an intellectual networking and educational organization, encouraging cultural foresight about profound technology-driven change. It encourages critical thinking about ideas and technologies that will help people, our society, and the world. Extropy Institute sees enormous potential in advanced decision making and strategic thinking to accelerate humanity's resolution of fundamental problems. To learn more about Extropy Institute:

Copyright Extropy Institute

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