Transhuman minds? Is cognitive enhancement a human right?
Tuesday 11th March 2008
The Royal Society of Medicine, London
3-6pm, followed by drinks reception
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.
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