Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view



UPCOMING EVENTS: Bioculture

Hughes, LaGrandeur @ Posthumanism and Society
May 9
NYC, NY USA


Confronting the Anthropocene
June 27
Boston, MA USA


Hughes, Sorgner @ Beyond Humanism Conf: From Humanism to Post- and Transhumanism?
September 15-18
Seoul, S. Korea




MULTIMEDIA: Bioculture Topics

What is the Future of Synthetic Meat?

Epistemic and Cognitive Concept of Explanation: An Attempt at Synthesis (30min)

Let’s kick oil while the price is down

Tissue Engineering Solutions for Cardiovascular Tissue Pathologies (32min)

The Role of Bioprinting in Rejuvenation (25min)

Molecular and Cellular Damage as the Cause of the Diseases of Aging (1:20min)

Curing Cancer in the Elderly Through Novel Strategies (31min)

Molecular Elucidation and Engineering of Stem Cell Therapies for the Nervous System

Cancer and Aging: Rival Demons? (31min)

Regulating a Damage Repair Approach to Cure the Diseases of Aging (55min)

The Rejuvenation of Aged Skeletal Muscle by Systematic Factors (18min)

Accelerating Knowledge Turns: The I-SPY Model and Drug Development (31min)

Why sitting is bad for you

Future Day Online

A Simulated Mouse Brain in a Virtual Mouse Body




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Bioculture Topics




Life is already eternal, sort of…

by Rick Searle

What often strikes me when I put the claims of some traditionally religious people regarding “eternal life” and the stated goals of the much more recent, I suppose you could label it with the oxymoronic phrase “materialist spirituality”, next to one another is just how much of the language and fundamental assumptions regarding human immortality these very different philosophies share.



Indefinite lifespan possible in 20 years, expert predicts

by Dick Pelletier

New Google hire and renowned futurist Ray Kurzweil sums up how technologies might play out over the next two decades with this claim: “If you remain in good health for 20 more years, you may never die.”



Cheering Microbes Into Space!

by Darlene Cavalier

Science Cheerleader Wendy Brown, a graduate student in biomedical engineering, will recruit school kids and volunteers to collect microbial samples from a wide range of environments.





Could more than one singularity happen at the same time?

by Rick Searle

James Miller has an interesting looking new book out, Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World.  I haven’t had a chance to pick up the book yet, but I did listen to a very engaging conversation about the book at Surprisingly Free.Miller is a true believer in the Singularity, the idea that at some point, from the next quarter century to the end of the 21st, our civilization will give rise to a greater than human intelligence which will rapidly bootstrap to a yet higher order of intelligence in such a way that we are unable to see past this event horizon in historical time.



Sentient machines: the next step in human evolution

by Dick Pelletier

Building machines that process information the same way a brain does has been a dream for over 50 years. Artificial intelligence, fuzzy logic, and neural networks have all experienced some degrees of success, but machines still cannot recognize pictures or understand language as well as humans can.



At the frontiers of the science of health risk – five areas to watch

by Andrew Maynard

This week’s Risk Bites video takes a roller-coaster ride through some of the hottest topics in risk science.



Future Technology Could Eliminate the Need to Eat Food

by Dick Pelletier

By early 2030s, experts predict nanobots will be developed to improve the human digestive system, and by 2040 or before, as radical as this sounds, we could eliminate our need for food and eating.



Do You Want to be a Cyborg, or a Transhuman?

by Nikki Olson

The words “cyborg” and “transhuman” are frequently used interchangeably, but to what extent, and in what ways, do the concepts have the same referents? And which is the preferable concept to identify with when contemplating one’s own future?

Full Story...



A Global Civilization Heads for the Stars and Our Amazing Nanotechnology Future

by Dick Pelletier

Experts predict that over the next nine decades, exponential advances in biotech, nanotech, infotech, and cognitive sciences will enable humanity to evolve from a group of self-centered squabbling cultures to become a peaceful global village with amazing technological abilities.

During the last century, researchers unraveled one of humanity’s greatest mysteries: the nature of life. We discovered that the almost magical properties of living things, the ability to grow, heal and reproduce, was brought about by life’s molecular machinery.



Made for You

by Richard Stallman

Growing old, and having lost hope of finding love again, I read about the Lifemates Co-op and was intrigued.  “Mr or Ms Right doesn’t exist in nature.  If you want someone that was made for you, come to us.”  I made an appointment to visit their office and talk with a salesperson…



The Singularity: what to expect when machines get smarter than us

by Dick Pelletier

What can we expect when machines surpass humans in intelligence; a point in time that futurists predict could become reality by 2045. Though it’s impossible to forecast this far in advance with 100% accuracy, by combining predicted technology breakthroughs with present-day knowledge, we can make plausible guesses about how tomorrow’s super-intelligent machines might affect our lives.



#8 Any Sufficiently Advanced Civilization is Indistinguishable from Nature

by Rachel Armstrong

In Western cultures, nature is a cosmological, primal ordering force and a terrestrial condition that exists in the absence of human beings. Both meanings are freely implied in everyday conversation. We distinguish ourselves from the natural world by manipulating our environment through technology. In What Technology Wants, Kevin Kelly proposes that technology behaves as a form of meta-nature, which has greater potential for cultural change than the evolutionary powers of the organic world alone.



Promoting the Use of Clean Stoves in the Developing World

by Lee-Roy Chetty

Promoting the use of clean stoves in the developing world can contribute to the broader development objectives of reducing poverty, improving health and gender equality, and mitigating climate change.




I’m Just a Love Machine

by Jamais Cascio

Artifice and Consent in the Age of Robotics

The notion of robot love has a long history, and by far the dominant emphasis has been on its erotic manifestation. After all, the reasoning goes, a sufficiently advanced robot would offer all of the physical pleasure of a real partner with no emotional entanglements, personal judgments, or dissipating affections, in an un-aging body that can be sculpted to look exactly as one desires. Famous movie actors and actresses might even set up a lucrative side-business licensing their own bodily images to robot manufacturers, even long after time and nature had taken a toll.



Death by (lack of a) drugs (culture)

by Marcelo Rinesi

A recent report from the Los Angeles Times underscored what amounts to an epidemic of deaths in the US caused at least in part by overdoses of legally prescribed drugs. The root problem, though, is one of cultural technology rather than chemistry or regulation.

Full Story...



There’s no alternative to ecological interventionism

by Marcelo Rinesi

If we want the ecosystem richness we once had, we are going to have to let go of the ecosystems we have left.

Full Story...



Future of war: bioweapons, cyber-warfare, mind-control and more

by Dick Pelletier

In The American Way of War, historian Russell Weigley describes a grinding strategy of destruction employed by the U.S. military over the last 150 years. To end the Civil War, Grant felt he had to destroy lee’s soldiers; in World War I, Pershing relentlessly bombarded and wore down Germany’s proud fighting machine; and the Army Air Corps pulverized major German and Japanese cities to win World War II.



No Dystopian Future For Me!

by Kris Notaro

How can we save our planet, ourselves, and increase the quality of life world wide?



Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change

by Ramez Naam

Hurricane Sandy fizzled out over Quebec Wednesday morning, leaving a trail of devastation along the US East Coast and into southern Ontario. As I write this, Sandy’s death toll stands at 132 people – 71 in the Caribbean and 61 in the United States. Since making landfall in the US, it flooded the New York City subway system, left 8 million people without electricity (6.5 million of whom still lack it), destroyed the Atlantic City boardwalk, and shut down the New York Stock Exchange for 2 days.  Estimates of its economic damage are up to $50 billion, making it the 2nd most expensive storm in US history, after Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans.



When Hope is Unethical

by Marcelo Rinesi

With the best of intentions, climate scientists might be doing an ethical disservice to the world.

Full Story...



Is there an Ecological Architectural Design Method?

by Rachel Armstrong

A talk on nature, ecology, synthetic biology and the machines of living grace, delivered to architecture students at the University of Greenwich, October 10th, 2012

Full Story...



BioLime: The Mock Rock

by Rachel Armstrong

Climate change in the small town of Mossville is tackled by creating a rock-like salt that “energizes” their buildings. “Science Faction” / Biochemistry / Metabolic Architecture

Full Story...



The Biggest Problem of All: The End of the World is Coming?

by piero scaruffi

Paul Ehrlich recently gave a talk that listed eight major catastrophic environmental problems that are coming sooner than even pessimists predict… should we create a “culture of panic”?

Full Story...



Google Street View, Now Underwater

by Breki Tomasson

While Apple is doing their best to manage the fiasco that is their iOS 6 map roll out, Google has decided to start adding underwater shots to Google Maps, starting with the Great Barrier Reef.

Full Story...



Melancholia, the Game

by Jamais Cascio

Plague, Inc., by Ndemic Creations, is an iDevice game with a simple story: you’re a plague, and your goal is to wipe out the human race.

Full Story...



Soft Cities (Part 1)

by Rachel Armstrong

All that is built squirms. This is the fundamental reality that applies to buildings.

Full Story...



What’s Wrong With Selling Your Organs?

by P. Tittle

It seems to be morally acceptable to sell one’s blood, sperm, eggs, and hair. So… what’s so unacceptable about selling one’s kidney?

Full Story...



Lemur Steaks & Pigeon Pickings - The Malagasy Bushmeat Conundrum

by Dustin Eirdosh

Last night I had the fortune of sitting down with the leading researcher in Madagascar focused on the intersection of wildlife conservation and human health, Dr. Chris Golden from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Full Story...



New Zealand: A Future ‘Home Base’ for Transhumanists?

by Hank Pellissier

Is tech progess in your Luddite homeland too slow? You’d rather dwell in a Transhuman-Land? Here’s plans for a H+-friendly Home Base in the South Pacific, from “Zero State”…

Full Story...



Lawless Sustainability—new technology & innovative solutions for a sustainable future

by Rachel Armstrong

The problem with sustainability is that it was designed by committee rather than springing from the loins of a mature design movement.

Full Story...

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