PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES|
The IEET has five major programs for its work:
Envisioning the Future - Through our Envisioning the Future program we engage with culture critics, artists, writers, filmmakers and consumers to explore the biopolitics implicit in depictions of technology in literature, film and television.
Cyborg Buddha Project - IEET Executive Director James Hughes and IEET Board members Mike LaTorra and George Dvorsky are collaborating on the IEET Cyborg Buddha Project, to promote discussion of the impact that neuroscience and emerging neurotechnologies will have on happiness, spirituality, cognitive liberty, moral behavior and the exploration of meditational and ecstatic states of mind. Hughes is a former Buddhist monk and is writing a book tentatively titled Cyborg Buddha: Using Neurotechnology to Become Better People. LaTorra is a Zen priest, author of A Warrior Blends with Life: A Modern Tao, and runs the Trans-Spirit list promoting discussion of neurotheology, neuroethics, techno-spirituality and altered states of consciousness. Dvorsky writes and podcasts frequently from a rationalist, transhumanist, and Buddhist point of view, winning him an award this year as one of the best Buddhist blogs.
Rights of the Person - Through the Rights of the Person program we engage the human rights community, legal scholars, reproductive rights activists, the transgendered community, and advocates of public health approaches to illicit drugs in a campaign to deepen and broaden the concept of human rights.
Rights of Non-Human Persons - The IEET is committed to the idea that some non-human animals meet the criteria of legal personhood and thus are deserving of specific rights and protections. Owing to advances in several fields, including the neurosciences, it is becoming obvious that the human species no longer can ignore the rights of non-human persons. A number of non-human animals, including the great apes, cetaceans, elephants, and parrots, exhibit self-awareness, intentionality, creativity, and symbolic communication. It is a moral and legal imperative that we now extend the protection of 'human rights' from our species to all beings with those characteristics.
Longer, Better Lives - With the Longer, Better Lives program we seek to make the case for longer healthier lives, addressing objections to life extension, from the alleged problem of overpopulation to the threat of ennui. We are coordinating and developing consultation with senior citizens groups and organizations of the disabled to help them challenge ageist and ableist attitudes that discourage the full utilization of health technology.
Securing the Future - Under our Securing the Future research program we are assembling interdisciplinary teams of natural scientists, social scientists, humanists, historians, engineers, and futurists to work in goal-oriented projects aimed at proactively mitigating existential risks to humanity and to the biosphere.
African Futures Project -The IEET’s African Futures Project was started in 2012 as a multifaceted program to develop our understanding of how emerging technologies, combined with human rights and democratic empowerment, are transforming Africa, the poorest region of the world. The project started with two separate initiatives, the first an accumulation of the intellectual thoughts and dreams of academic scholars and policy leaders, and the second a program aimed to empower ordinary Africans by putting communication devices in their hands.
The IEET has built a network of the most visionary thinkers and activists working on the policy implications of human enhancement and other emerging technologies.
Research Grants - The IEET is soliciting funds for a grants programs to support the research of IEET Fellows and interns on the ethical and policy issues of human enhancement and other emerging technologies.
Fellows and Interns - Since 2004 IEET Fellows have written hundreds of op-eds, journal articles and book chapters, and the IEET has promoted their work through the IEET website and publications. About ten interns have worked with our thirteen fellows, doing research, editing manuscripts and assisting with IEET projects.
Media outreach - Through targeted press releases and the provision of qualified spokespersons, the Institute disseminates key policy ideas that address emerging technologies. The Institute sponsors the weekly syndicated Changesurfer Radio, and will develop other educational materials for radio, television and the web.
Networking Scholars and Organizations - In each of our programmatic areas we are building a database of scholars and networking with organizations working on similar topics from similar points of view.
Conferences, Speaker Tours and Speakers Bureau - The IEET often organizes events "” conferences and one day seminars "” in Europe and North America to promote discussion of techoprogressive policy ideas.
- the 2005 and 2006Transvision conferences (Caracas Venezuela, July 22-24, 2005; Helsinki Finland - August 17-20, 2006) focusing on human enhancement technologies, were co-sponsored with the Humanity Plus
- Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights (Stanford University Law School, California USA, May 26-28, 2006), co-sponsored with the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, and Stanford Center for Law and Biosciences.
- 21st Century Rights (United Nations Plaza, NYC, NY USA, May 11-13, 2007) co-sponsored with the IHEU- Appignani Humanist Center for Bioethics
- Preventing Extinction (Computer History Museum, Mountain View, California, USA, Nov 14, 2008) co-sponsored with the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
The IEET solicits articles from recognized experts and thinkers for publication in the IEET's Journal of Evolution and Technology, at the IEET website, in booklets, and in newspapers and magazines that reach a broad and informed audience.
White Papers In each program area we have outlined a set of position papers that need to be written that address the benefits and risks of emerging technologies.
Books Collectively IEET Fellows and staff have authored dozens of books on technoprogressive themes, and many are working on book projects currently. We are also working on two IEET-related books Technoprogressive: Policies for a Brighter Future, a public policy handbook from a technoprogressive point of view, directed at everything from health care and science funding to employment, pensions and space policy, and Cyborg Buddha, a book project of Dr. Hughes' on the uses of neurotechnology for the enhancement of moral behavior.
The Journal of Technology and Evolution is a scholarly peer-reviewed journal, publishing academic-quality research since 1998. JET welcomes submissions on subject matters that many mainstream journals shun as too speculative, radical, or interdisciplinary on all issues relating to the future prospects of the human species and its descendants. Since its inception, JET has had five editors-in-chief: Dr. Nick Bostrom, Dr. Robin Hanson, Dr. Mark Walker, Dr. James Hughes and currently Dr. Russell Blackford.