Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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Human Rights for the 21st Century
Rights of the Person to Technological Self-Determination

Sponsors: IHEU- Appignani Humanist Center for Bioethics and
Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

May 11-13, 2007
New York City

Cocktail Reception: Friday May 11, 6:00 - 9:00 pm, Romanian Consulate, 200 East 38th Street

Conference: Saturday May 12 and Sunday May 13, 9:00 am - 3:45 pm

Location: 777 UN Plaza, 2nd Floor, New York City, NY 10017


The 2007 conference "Human Rights for the 21st Century: Rights of the Person to Technological Self-Determination" will focus on (a) human rights in the context of bodily autonomy as well as reproductive and cognitive liberties, (b) emerging biotechnologies which may contribute to the exercise of such rights, and (c) challenges to the ideas of human identity underlying some rights discourse.

The conference will address the various roles of emerging technologies and other products of scientific progress in today's society, as well as their implications for the pursuit of bioethics. Potential topics to be considered include nanotechnology in medical treatment, novel vaccines against addictive behaviors, Internet-enabled social networking and engineering, designer genetic engineering, novel transplantable tissue and organ generation, neuroscience and its application to medical advances, as well as reproductive science and women's rights. The conference intends to provide an open forum for interaction between various stakeholders in this debate, including those representing public, private, and international sectors.

Keynote Speaker: Jonathan Moreno Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress


Jeff Buechner Ph.D.

Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University

"Problems with The Case Against Perfection"

Listen to talk here
Kuan-Ting Chi

Sheffield Institute of Biotechnological Law and Ethics, UK

"Scientific Evidence and Human Rights: the difficulty from scientific uncertainty"

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Chalmers C. Clark, PhD

Department of Philosophy, Union College

"What is in a Face? Philosophy and Facial Transplantation"

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Fred Frohock Ph.D.

University of Miami

"Human Rights and Stem Cell Research: An Emerging Set of Limits for Rights Vocabularies?"

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Linda MacDonald Glenn, J.D., LL.M.

Women’s Bioethics Project

"Technological challenges to the ideas of human identity"

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Alex Grey

Board of Directors, Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics

"Cognitive Liberty and Drug Law Reform"

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Alice Herb, J.D., L.L.M.

State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center

"Ethical-Legal Issues in the Inner City"

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Bill Hibbard Ph.D.

Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin - Madison

"The Technology of Mind and a New Social Contract"

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James J. Hughes Ph.D.

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

"The Ethics of Sex Selection"

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Kevin Keith

City College of New York

"We Must Decide Who We Are to Determine Who We Become: Philosophical Pre-Requisites to Technological Self-Determination"

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David Koepsell J.D., Ph.D.

Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Yale University

"Rights to One's Own Genes: The Human Genome as a Commons"

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Adam Kolber J.D.

School of Law, University of San Diego

"Therapeutic Forgetting: The Legal and Ethical Implications of Memory Dampening"

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Ana Lita Ph.D.

IHEU- Appignani Humanist Center for Bioethics

"Egg Markets"

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Jonathan Moreno Ph.D.

Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania

"Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense"

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Jonathan Pfeiffer

California Lutheran University

"The trouble with nature and artifice"

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Priyamvada Sivasubramanian

Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, India

"The Proliferation of Indian Nari Guinea Pigs: Coercive Population Policies and Dubious Clinical Trials"

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Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., J.D., M.B.A.

United Therapeutics; Terasem Movement

"Technological Transexualism as a Torchbearer for Technological Self-Determination"

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Kristi Scott

Intern, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

"Cheating Darwin: The Genetic and Ethical Implications of Vanity and Cosmetic Plastic Surgery"

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Eric Steinhart

Dept. of Philosophy, William Patterson University

"A Natural Right to Fully Actualized Human Nature"

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James A. Stieb Ph.D.

Philosophy Dept., Drexel University

"Some Problems with American Bioethics"

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Terry Tomsick J.D.

McGill University’s joint LLM-bioethics program

"Reproductive rights in Europe and the United States"

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Michael Vassar

Columbia University

"Lead Me Not Into Temptation: Folk-Psychological Conceptions of Willpower and Their Implications for Policy"

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Mark Youssef

University of Missouri – St. Louis

"Defending the Uninterrupted Right to Clone"

Listen to talk here


Registration fee of $60 (students: $30) includes attendance at the two-day conference. Cocktail reception is $15 extra.


Packages are available, on a first-come-first-serve basis, from the Pickwick Hotel, E 51st Street and Second Avenue. Tel: 212 355 0300, e-mail:

Fifteen hotel rooms have been booked at Millenium UN Plaza Hotel New York, United Nations Plaza, 44th Street between First and Second Avenues, New York,NY, USA 10017-3575 Tel: 212 758 1234 fax: 212 702 5051 reservation: 866 866 8086 email: Please quote Conference name "ROBIO" when booking.


The IHEU-Appignani Center for Bioethics focuses on raising awareness of bioethical issues confronting the international community and developing and implementing an international program for lobbying. The Center is a new initiative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union. IHEU holds a special consultative status with ECOSOC at the United Nations, a general consultative status with UNICEF and the Council of Europe as well as operational relations with UNESCO in Paris.

The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies examines the social implications of technological progress, promoting public policies that distribute the benefits and reduce the risks of accelerating innovation. The IEET is chaired by Dr. Nick Bostrom of Oxford University, and served by Dr. James Hughes of Trinity College (Hartford CT) as its Executive Director. The thirteen Fellows of the IEET span expertise from nanotechnology, neurotechnology, biotechnology and information science to bioethics, philosophy and health policy. The IEET publishes the Journal of Evolution and Technology and produces the Changesurfer radio show and podcast.


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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,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @     phone: 860-428-1837

West Coast Contact: Managing Director, Hank Pellissier
425 Moraga Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611
Email: hank @