Posts in Human Enhancement

The potential implications of human enhancement comprise one of the main reasons why I’m at CSPO, so I was excited and a little worried when the trailer for the movie Limitless appeared.  Would Hollywood do justice to the topic, or would they make yet another trite cautionary tale?
This past weekend (Dec 3-4), I attended the “Transforming Humanity: Fantasy? Dream? Nightmare? Conference hosted by the Center for Inquiry, Penn Center for Bioethics, and the Penn Center for Neuroscience and Society.  James Hughes and George Dvorsky of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies give their blow-by-blow record of the conference, but I'd like to step back and provide an overview of the field, and its position today.
In the years immediately following World War II, a debate raged among U.S. policy officials over whether to place nuclear weapons – and the technological production systems that made them possible – in the hands of the military. They decided no, instead establishing the Atomic Energy Commission as a civilian nuclear weapons agency. Their goal: to ensure democratic control over the production and use of this most dangerous form of technology. I wonder, today, whether the United States ought to ask the same question about technologies of human enhancement.

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