Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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


Wallach, Hughes, Vita-More, Smart, Lin, Darling @ Governance of Emerging Technologies
May 26-28
Scottsdale, AZ USA

Brain Matters! Cutting Edge Neurotechnologies: Clinical and Ethical Issues
May 28-29
Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Sorgner @ International Festival of Philosophy
May 31
Cologne, Germany

The Global Brain and the Future Information Society
June 3-7
Vienna, Austria

Wallach, Bostrom on “Technological Unemployment and the Future of Work”
June 3
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Brin @ Augmented World
June 8-10
Santa Clara, CA USA

Danaher @ Clinical Neuroethics: Bench to Bedside
June 17-19
Paris, France


Martine Rothblatt and Bina48 interviewed by Joe Rogan

Transformative Technology: An Evolution of Contemplative Practice

My daughter, my wife, our robot, and the quest for immortality

The Awareness

The Ethics of Moral Enhancement

Science Fiction is Really Important But Not Because It’s Right

Has the world improved in the last 60 years? (90min)

Is the Universe a Giant Computer Simulation?

Are We Heading for a Jobless Future?

Radical Change Lies Ahead

What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?

Does death make life worth living?

Review of EX MACHINA

Gray Matters

The Dawn of Killer Robots

Subscribe to IEET Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List


Should scientists create deadly viruses?

by Arthur Caplan

One of the predictable consequences of science’s rapidly growing knowledge of genetics is that the knowledge can be put to use to kill, harm or terrorize.

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#4: Liberating Egypt from Female Genital Mutilation

by Hank Pellissier

“That woman in Cairo,” I wonder as I stare at the dramatic photo in Washington Post, “the one with the Egyptian flag and the black headscarf… does she have a clitoris?”

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#5: Singapore and the Singularity

by Miriam Jisun

For many reasons, the tiny country of Singapore should be considered as a leading candidate to be the eventual epicenter of the Technological Singularity.

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#6: Sexbots for Women

by Hank Pellissier

What do females want in a cyborg lover?

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#7: Our Worst Frailty: An Electro Magnetic “Hit”

by David Brin

The EMP-vulnerability of our electric grid, our machines, transportation systems, tools, and homes is probably the most glaring “acute-impact” threat on our horizon.

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#8: Atheists are the most generous—even without heavenly reward!

by Hank Pellissier

Who gives the most to charitable causes? Those who believe in gods or those who don’t?

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My Top 12 Books of the Year

by Russell Blackford

I’m unlikely to read many more books before the year is out, and the ones that I really must read for professional purposes don’t look as if they are going to make any list of mine of favourite or top or “best” books. So here is a short list of my best books of the year, the ones that I found especially illuminating or enjoyable. It’s my top 12 for 2011.

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#9: Ban Baby-Making Unless Parents Are Licensed

by Hank Pellissier

For the sake of the children, let’s control human breeding. No one should be permitted to reproduce until they pass a battery of tests.

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When censoring science makes sense

by Arthur Caplan

Once in a long while the price of the truth is simply too high to let scientists disclose their findings publicly. That is so when it comes to publishing detailed information about dangerous viruses and microbes.

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#10: Feminism’s Social Side Effects

by Hank Pellissier

Wealth, peace, happiness, democracy, secularization, and ... male longevity?

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#11: The Maitreya and the Cyborg: Connecting East and West for Enriching Transhumanist Philosophy

by Miriam Jisun

In this essay I would like to reflect on Eastern and Western philosophy, their definition of enlightenment, and their connection to transhumanist thinking. How may Buddhist concepts like ‘Bodhi’ and the ‘Maitreya’ relate to the Western ‘Enlightenment’, human enhancement, and post/transhumanism?

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#12: Artificial Wombs Will Spawn New Freedoms

by Nikki Olson & Hank Pellisier

Eggs were first. Millions of years before mammals, eggs existed, their hard shells protecting the incubating embryo inside. Egg Mom wanders mobile, light in her anatomy—unlike her mammalian sister that waddles around, heavily crippled with the burden of her womb. Eggs were an evolutionary smart idea.

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IEET Readers Show Strong Support for Morality Separated from Religion

By a margin of nearly three to one, IEET readers responding to a recently concluded poll said morality can and should be separate from religion.

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What were the IEET’s most stimulating articles of 2011?

We’ll answer that question by posting a daily countdown of the top 12 articles published on our blog this year, based on how many total hits each one has received.

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The Demographic Anti-Dividend

by Marcelo Rinesi

War, it has been said, is demography sped up. So are economic crises, including the current one.

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Critical Thinking: The Posthuman Mind pt4a

by Kris Notaro

If the posthuman mind is more intelligent than we are, the outcome will be superb critical thinking.

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What I Told the CIA About Robot Ethics

by Patrick Lin

Robots are replacing humans on the battlefield—but could they also be used to interrogate and torture suspects? This would avoid a serious ethical conflict between physicians’ duty to do no harm, or nonmaleficence, and their questionable role in monitoring vital signs and health of the interrogated. A robot, on the other hand, wouldn’t be bound by the Hippocratic oath, though its very existence creates new dilemmas of its own.

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Gingrich, Asimov, and the Computer-Trading Monster!

by David Brin

Both Republican former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Nobel prize winning Keynsian economist Paul Krugman have a trait in common.  They grew up fervent science fiction fans, especially transfixed by the future-historical speculations of Isaac Asimov.  Gingrich wrote about this influence that helped to shape his life.

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Big Changes Afoot for the IEET in 2012

After six years serving as the IEET’s Chairman of the Board, Nick Bostrom will be stepping down and assuming the role of IEET Senior Fellow. And after three years service as managing director of the IEET, Mike Treder will be stepping down to be an IEET Fellow.  IEET Affiliate Scholar Hank Pellissier will be replacing Mike as Managing Director.

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The Future is a Virus

by Jamais Cascio

Not literally, of course. But if we think about the future as something that infects us, we gain a new perspective on our world.

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Hughes and Wallach essays in Patrick’s new collection on Robot Ethics

IEET Fellow Patrick Lin has co-edited a new volume, Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics with thirty essays on different aspects on robot ethics, including contributions by IEET Executive Director James Hughes and IEET Fellow Wendell Wallach.

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Human Rights and a Code of Responsibility

by Alex McGilvery

We have become so dependent on the concept of ‘human rights’ that we have become morally lazy. I propose that we need to start thinking more in terms of ‘human responsibility’.

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Dr. Strange: Newt Gingrich and Conservatism’s Insane Idea Industry

by Richard Eskow

Fire all the janitors and make poor kids clean their schools?  Zap Korea with an airborne superlaser that’s never worked during testing? Ignore global warming and plan to re-engineer the entire planet with untested technology instead?

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Will the Eurozone Collapse?

by Peter Wicks

At its worst, it is a nightmare scenario with global implications. But is it a realistic possibility?

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New Special Issue of JET Online: Minds and Machines

After much hard work, the editor of the Journal of Evolution and Technology, Russell Blackford, and IEET Fellow Linda MacDonald Glenn are pleased to announce that the special issue that they have been editing if coming online.

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An End of Year Appeal for Support

Help us Occupy the Future! By supporting the IEET you are making a commitment to hope and reason, science and optimism, to flourishing, free, diverse, resilient and sustainable societies.

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Plan B ruling trumps good science with bad policy

by Arthur Caplan

The morning-after pill known as Plan B is steeped in controversy again. The Department of Health and Human Services has taken the rare step of overruling the Food and Drug Administration and its science advisors and will not allow the pill to be sold over the counter in drugstores unless a woman can prove she is older than 17.

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Hughes and Blackford featured in Free Inquiry

The new (December 2011/January 2012) issue of Free Inquiry features a set of articles on the prospects of human enhancement, and how these should be viewed by secular people. The positions range across the spectrum from enthusiastic to very resistant, and feature contributions by IEET’s Russell Blackford and James Hughes.

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Atlas Shrugged: The Hidden Context of the Book and Film

by David Brin

There was nothing else even remotely interesting at Blockbuster—so we rented ATLAS SHRUGGED.

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How will you (probably) decay and die?

by Hank Pellissier

Genetic testing may have the answers.

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