John Niman is an Affiliate Scholar, and a J.D. Candidate at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and blogs at boydfuturist.wordpress.com and hplusmagazine.com. He shares his enthusiasm for transhumanism and technology with the law school through presentations as part of the William S. Boyd Health Law Society. John recently completed a lengthy academic paper exploring the legal definition of personhood under United States law in which he argues that personhood is not restricted to human beings currently, and ought to be based on a set of cognitive criteria rather than human DNA and biological events like quickening and birth. He hopes to push this legal argument further in a forthcoming paper where he will further argue that once machines achieve a degree of sentience such that they can meet these criteria, they too ought to be considered people under the law and, potentially, citizens of the United States.
John graduated magna cum laude from UNLV in 2008, earning his B.A. in philosophy with a minor in business law. After law school, he intends to continue exploring the ethics of transhumanist technology and merge his philosophical and legal education with a doctorate in public policy or bioethics.