IEET > Fellows > Mike Treder > J. Hughes
Treder & Hughes Participate in Terasem Meeting
Jul 22, 2005  

Adapted from Responsible Nanotechnology blog.

Two days ago, IEET Fellow Mike Treder and IEET Executive Director James Hughes were privileged to attend a workshop on geoethical nanotechnology at a beautiful mountain retreat in Vermont.

The meeting began with a presentation from Dr. Barry Blumberg, a Nobel Prize-winner in medicine, and Founding Director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. He spoke about [PPT] the scientific definitions of life, and how advanced nanotechnology potentially could lead someday to new forms of intelligent life.

Our second speaker was Max More, Ph.D., chairman of the Extropy Institute, and Director of Content Solutions at ManyWorlds Inc. He discussed [PPT] the limitations of the Precautionary Principle, and presented an interesting argument in favor of a Proactionary Principle.

After some group discussion, the next presenter was Walter Anderson, Ph.D., President of the World Academy of Art and Science, who gave a summary of the evolution of ethics. Following him, Wrye Sententia, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, spoke about the challenge [PPT] of designing accurate statements on human rights. Then Natasha Vita-More, President of the Extropy Institute, gave a talk on global design.

The keynote speaker for the workshop was Ray Kurzweil, President of Kurzweil Technologies, Inc. He gave a stimulating address on “How We Can Manage Our Way Through the Intertwined Promise and Peril of Accelerating Change” [PPT]. This talk was followed by group discussion, mostly around Ray’s upcoming book, The Singularity is Near.

After lunch, we heard from Professor Frank Tipler, author of The Physics of Immortality, who guided us through the future of the universe [PPT], including the potential impacts of advanced nanotechnology in the hands of the superintelligent descendants of humanity.

Next up was Douglas Mulhall, author of Our Molecular Future, who spoke about [PPT] the inability of present regulatory systems to deal with the serious implications of molecular manufacturing, especially in the areas of health, medicine, and ecology.

IEET Executive Director James Hughes, Ph.D., author of Citizen Cyborg, spoke next about Democratic Transhumanism [PPT], and the impacts of emerging technologies on society and politics.

Following another group discussion, Mike Treder, IEET Technology Fellow and the Executive Director of CRN, made a presentation on Global Geoethical Implementation of Nanofactory Production [PPT], including multi-stakeholder engagement. The final speaker was our host, Martine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics Corporation, who talked about opportunities for nanotechnology to aid women [PPT] in developing countries. In addition, she presented a critique of the Foresight Guidelines, and offered a proposal [PPT] for a new global structure to develop and oversee molecular manufacturing.

We finished with a nice dinner over which many more ideas were exchanged. All in all, it was a remarkable assembly and program, and we are grateful to the Terasem Movement Foundation for making it possible.

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