21st Century Body Symposium, UCL, May 2012

What does it mean to be human in the 21st Century? In what ways is this question affected by new forms of technologies, such as biometrics or the evolution of genetic and neuroscience technologies? Are our perceptions of human identity being recast in the light of these new scientific and technological developments? Are there, or should there be limits in what we can or should do to ourselves and our bodies? How and what does it mean to grow old now that the health and capacity of humans has been stretched for the over 50 population?


21st Century Body Symposium, UCL, 18 May 2012 [free event, registration now open]

The 21st Century Body Symposium

Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Bloomsbury campus, University College London
18th May, 2012, 9am to 6pm, followed by a drinks reception


Symposium abstract

What does it mean to be human in the 21st Century? In what ways is this question affected by new forms of technologies, such as biometrics or the evolution of genetic and neuroscience technologies? Are our perceptions of human identity being recast in the light of these new scientific and technological developments? Are there, or should there be limits in what we can or should do to ourselves and our bodies? How and what does it mean to grow old now that the health and capacity of humans has been stretched for the over 50 population?

This symposium will seek to offer answers to some of these questions and in so doing contribute to the conversation on modern conceptions of human identity and perspectives on the human body. Drawing from insights and ideas from across the disciplines, the aim will be to chart challenges to, and changes in perceptions of identity and the human body in the 21st century in the face of new advances in emerging technologies.

Topics for the day include: virtual identities; privacy, surveillance and authenticity; post-human bodies; cognitive enhancement; environment and society; fertility and reproduction; artificial intelligence systems; ICT implants and prosthetics; converging technologies; animal-human distinctions; genomics and genetic based therapies; neuroscience and neuropharmacology; nanomedicine and care of the ageing; freedom and dignity; ideas about scientific progress.


Registration and schedule

The event is free and everyone is welcome
Lunch on the day will be provided
The event will be followed by a drinks reception
Registration is required for catering purposes. Register by 7 May 2012 via: http://c21body.eventbrite.co.uk/
A schedule for the day will be circulated w/c 30 April 2012.


Venue and further information

Venue: The event will be held in the Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology department, 2nd floor, 14 Taviton St. University College London, Bloomsbury Campus, WC1H 0BW.
Nearest tube stations: Euston Square (Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines), or Goodge Street (Northern line)
Maps and location: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/anthropology/contact/location
Posters for the event will be available to downloaded from our webpages next week.


Organising committee:

Yasemin J. Erden, Philosophy/CBET, St Mary's University College, Twickenham
Deborah Gale, MBA University of Santa Clara, CA; MA, King’s College London
Matt James, Director, BioCentre
Aaron Parkhurst, PhD research candidate, Medical Anthropology, University College London

In partnership with:
• BioCentre
• University College London: Department of Anthropology
• St. Mary’s University College: Department of Philosophy and The Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies (CBET)
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