IEET > Vision > Fellows > Natasha Vita-More > Interns > Kristi Scott
IEETers step down from and up to the Humanity+ Board
Jan 8, 2010  

After eight years of service—since the founding of the World Transhumanist Association’s Board of Directors in 2001—IEETers Nick Bostrom, James Hughes, George Dvorsky and Mike Treder are stepping down from the Board. IEETers Ben Goertzel and Mike LaTorra will remain on the Board, and Ben will be Chair of the Board in 2010. IEET intern Kristi Scott and IEET fellow Natasha Vita-More are running in the Humanity+ Board election next week.

Read their candidacy statements here.

To vote next week you have to be a dues-paying member of Humanity+.


Kristi Scott

Background: I have just turned 30 at the time of submission. I am a little bit Midwest girl, been with my husband for 14 years, and all around fan of emerging technologies and society. I am a mother of three beautiful children who keep me focused on the future world in which we are creating for them to grow up in. Discussing the future of technology and society are of great importance to me, not only because of my passions, but because of their future reality and ours that shouldn’t be taken lightly. My interests in h+ come from a strong background of exposure to the fears surrounding technological futures. This has prepared me to examine the realities of the topics and what it means for people to have technology affect their daily life. The intertwining and inseparable paths of society and technology are what I seek to understand both academically and professionally.

H+

  * Freelance writer for h+ magazine since the inaugural issue in 2008.
  * Attended Transvision 2007 and assisted with the Longevity Divided Seminar pre-conference
  * Presented at both the h+ Summit and the Biopolitics in Popular Culture seminars in 2009
  * Futurist Board member for the Lifeboat Foundation
  * At the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies I’ve served as an intern, writer, volunteer, teaching assistant and coordinator since 2007
  * Since 2007 I have worked with the Journal of Evolution and Technology as a reviewer, copyeditor, layout editor and was recently published in the journal in 2009

Academic

  * Currently working on my PhD in Mass Communications and Media Arts where my research will involve further exploration of film and society’s awareness/knowledge of emerging technologies (topic still in development).
  * Over the past three years I have presented and published on topics ranging from identity, body modification, society, cosmetic surgery and emerging technologies.
  * Member of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities
  * Blogger for the Women’s Bioethics Project
  * For my Master’s thesis I did research comparing the personalities of real life individuals to their Second Life avatars
  * BA in Public Relations with an Advertising emphasis

Vision:

My motivation for being on the board is to meet more people within the h+ community from around the world, but also to hear from people that are outside of the h+ community and what their perceptions are. I think it is important for the h+ community to be heard and to hear from all parts of the globe and that this also includes parts of the United States that might not already be part of the discussion.

I am located in the Midwest and see this location not as a hindrance or disconnection in my work. I’m connected online and quite accessible. Instead I see my location as an opportunity to not forget the locations that exist right here that want to be involved and might be interested if they were more aware of what is going on. I have traveled in the past outside of the Midwest for presentations in New York, Austria, Oxford, California and I hope to be able to do more in the future.

If elected, I intend on offering what expertise and knowledge I have to my fellow board members and intend on learning from their expertise and knowledge.

It would nice to get the Students Network back again as a focus if possible, so that the student network has involvement opportunities. This network is a way to talk to the next generation about what they think is important and the directions they think we are headed.

I aim to listen and be heard because I believe that h+ is important and should be something that is credible, respected and understood better.


Natasha Vita-More

Over the past four years, I have presented a series of lectures on transhumanism at academic institutions throughout the US, Europe, Canada, South America and Australia. Of parallel to this focus is my interest in Humanity Plus being a strong proponent for fostering wider public awareness of our future. I think that Humanity Plus has a substantiated position as being a diverse network of expertise and talent. Coupled with this characteristic is the underscoring benefit of transhumanism’s values of critical thinking and progress-oriented action. In short, the more apt we are at explaining, educating, illustrating and arguing issues, the more likely transhumanism will become a truly acknowledged and respected worldview. I think we can achieve this through Humanity Plus’s board and its members.

At the recent Summit, we discussed the influence of narrative/story-telling, a need for more emphasis on the arts/culture, and delving more deeply into the nature of behaviors, such as empathy. I’d like to work with you all to get this going!

Related Background. I authored the Transhuman Statement, and later, in the mid-1990s I was one of the early contributors to the Transhumanist FAQ and the Transhumanist Declaration, which are currently sponsored by Humanity Plus.

Since the 1990s, I have produced and hosted the cable TV show “TransCentury Update” on transhumanism, which viewing audience exceeded 100,000 in the Los Angeles area. I was a council member of the International Interactive Communications Society (LA/Santa Monica), which spearheaded VR and the VRML users group. I launched the Transhumanist Art & Culture website, which formed a nexus for artists, designers, scientists and science fiction enthusiasts. One of the projects was to produce “Timothy Leary in Conversation” which exhibited at the London’s Institute of Contemporary Art. In 1997 I designed the future human prototype “Primo Posthuman” which has become a stable in both academic and popular publications, including mentioned Raymond Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near, amongst other books which contextualize the sciences and technology of human enhancement. In 2003 I was elected as President of Extropy Institute and held that position for four years. I am currently a Fellow of IEET, on the Scientific Board of Lifeboat Foundation, and an advisor to such organizations as Alcor Life Extension Foundation and SIYM International.

Persona Info. My research concerns the aesthetics of human enhancement and radical life extension, with a focus on NBIC+. I am currently writing my dissertation as a PhD Candidate, University of Plymouth, Faculty of Arts, School of Art and Media. I hold an MPhil, University of Plymouth, Faculty of Technology, School of Communications, Computers and Electronics and an MSc, University of Houston, Future Studies, Social Sciences and Humanities. I was filmmaker-in-residence, University of Colorado and currently hold Certificates in Nutrition and Sports Training, American Muscle & Fitness Association. I am a strong proponent human rights and ethical means for human enhancement, which view I have written about and published in Artifact, Technoetic Arts, Nanotechnology Perceptions, Annual Workshop on Geoethical Nanotechnology, Death And Anti-Death, and my bi-monthly column in Nanotechnology Now. In 2009 I was Guest Editor of The Global Spiral academic journal.

Mention. I have been featured in Wired, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Net Business, Teleopolis, and Village Voice; referenced in more than a dozen non-fiction and academic books; and have appeared in over twenty-four televised documentaries on the future and culture.

I have exhibited media works at the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Brooks Memorial Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, Women In Video, Telluride Film Festival, and United States Film Festival and recently “Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age”. I have been the recipient of several awards: First Place Award at Brooks Memorial Museum, Special Recognition at Women in Video, WFS Best Graduate Project for “Futures Podcast Series” online, and Futurist Web Forecaster’s Award.

Personal Note. Many transhumanist work hard to have their social views recognized, especially views which frame issues concerning identity and sexuality. Other transhumanists focus on religious issues, which includes secular and nonsecular beliefs of atheism, agnosticism, Buddhism, Mormonism, for example. The one area where there is great unity is in the area of ethics, and I believe that this area will grow and become even stronger than it is today with an expansion of knowledge and skills which will place transhumanism in the front of ethical issues and solutions.

My own view is that I am not religious, but hold dear my personal position on life and self-responsibility and the need to do whatever I can to help others who do not have many of the benefits that I have been given in life and have worked hard to achieve. My socio-political view is a focus on problem-solving.

 




COMMENTS

Thanks to Nick, James and Mike for their great, excellent work on the Humanity+ Board.


This seems a formal “divorce” between the IEET and Humanity+, and I hope we will see less crap like “[the IEET is] a stealthy organization seeking to help legitimize the institutional positions and media reputations of key members of the World Transhumanist Organization”—which still appears on the IEET wikipedia page.


The IEET is a practical technoprogressive organization, working for safe, equitable consequences of emerging technologies, where different points of view, including but not limited to transhumanism, are represented. I hope the IEET will win more and more recognition as an important voice in the world of mainstream policy making.


I hope Humanity+, under the leadership of Ben and the new Board, will affirm its core identity of a transhumanist organization focused on radical and visionary futurism. I look forward to voting next week.

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