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IEET > Former > Ben Hyink

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Sad News: Ben Hyink

Posted: Oct 31, 2012

Ben Hyink was a passionate transhumanist and secular activist, and an intern and intern coordinator with the IEET. He helped organize and lead the Humanity+ Student Network (H+SN) and the Chicago chapter of Humanity+, co-wrote the “Humanity+ Student Leadership Guide,”, and was the recipient of the 2007 JBS Haldane award for outstanding Transhumanist Student of the year. Having struggled with depression he ended his life last week.

A graduate of Northwestern University (BA in Philosophy) at the end of his life he was a nursing student at DePaul University.

In lieu of flowers Ben’s parents request that gifts be made to the mental health NGO BringChange2Mind. commemorations can be recorded here

The essays that Ben published with the IEET can be read here.

My (J. Hughes’) personal reflection on Ben was that he was painfully shy in person, but a serious and committed intellectual online. Emails from Ben could be pages long as he worked through a complicated thought process. He was an example of a person who found his fullest potential and audience through electronic media, which made all the more interesting that he was pursuing nursing as a career - he wanted the satisfaction of helping people face-to-face despite the challenge that presented for him. We had recently corresponded about his writing about health care organization and policy for us from the new vantage of his nursing training. His enthusiasm and intellect will be missed.

Ben Hyink

Ben Hyink

George Dvorsky and Ben Hyink

George Dvorsky and Ben Hyink at Transvision 2007

J. Hughes presenting Ben the Haldane award

J. Hughes presenting Ben the JBS Haldane Award at Transvision 2007

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This is shocking news! Having exchanged some comments with Ben only a few weeks back, I wish I could have been more perceptive of his troubles and could have helped more to give support and perhaps helped to prevent this? I guess not? But on reflection, reading his last comments here, it reads now like a cry for help?

This is a terrible outcome! This world sucks sometimes, almost too much to bear?

I did not know you Ben, but I will not forget you or your words of thoughtful integrity.

My heartfelt condolences.

I knew Ben through his sister, and always thought we would meet. Having dealt with depression in my family, I just never knew where the line was regarding the pain that would cause a person to make that decision to end. Now I weep.

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The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

East Coast Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
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West Coast Contact: Managing Director, Hank Pellissier
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Email: hank @