[extropy-chat] IEET Enhancement Conf: May 26-28, 2006, Stanford Law School

Hughes, James J. james.hughes at trincoll.edu
Mon Jan 30 19:44:34 UTC 2006

"Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights"

May 26-28, 2006

Stanford University Law School, Stanford, California, USA


Organized by: Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 

Co-Sponsors: Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, Stanford Center
for Law and the Biosciences, Stanford Program in Ethics in Society

Some of the people who will be speaking at the HETHR conference:

- Walter Truett Anderson Ph.D., President, World Academy of Art and
- Richard Boire J.D., Senior Fellow, Center for Cognitive Liberty and
- Nick Bostrom Ph.D., Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University
- Katrina Bramstedt Ph.D., Bioethics Dept., Cleveland Clinic Lerner
College of Medicine
- Nigel Cameron Ph.D., Director, Center on Nanotechnology and Society
- Michael Chorost Ph.D., author of Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer
Made Me More Human
- Laura Colleton J.D., Harvard Divinity School
- Gregory Fowler Ph.D., Executive Director, GeneForum
- Henry Greely J.D., Director, Center for Law and the Biosciences,
Stanford Law School
- Martin Gunderson Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, Macalester College
- William Hurlbut M.D., Stanford University, President's Council on
- Ramez Naam, senior engineer, Microsoft, and author of More Than Human
- Annalee Newitz Ph.D., contributing editor, Wired magazine
- Christine Peterson, Vice President Foresight Nanotech Institute
- Martine Rothblatt Ph.D., J.D., Executive Director, Terasem Foundation
- Anita Silvers Ph.D., Dept. of Philosophy, San Francisco State

For a full list of speakers and abstracts:
Much of the criticism of enhancement technologies has focused on the
potential for increased discrimination against women, people of color,
the poor, the differently enabled, or "unenhanced" humans. Some
bioethicists have proposed a global treaty to ban enhancement
technologies as "crimes against humanity." 

Defenders of enhancement argue that the use of biotechnologies is a
fundamental human right,  inseparable from the defense of bodily
autonomy, reproductive freedom, free expression and cognitive liberty.
While acknowledging real risks from genetic, prosthetic, and cognitive
enhancement, defenders of enhancement believe that bans on the
consensual use of new technologies would be an even greater threat to
human rights. 

Health care, disability and reproductive rights activists have argued
that access to technology empowers full and equal participation in
society. On the same grounds a generalized right to "technological
empowerment" might connect defenders of enhancement technologies with
disability activists, reproductive rights activists with would-be
parents seeking fertility treatments, the transgendered with aesthetic
body modifiers, drug policy reformers and anti-aging researchers with
advocates for dignity in dying.
Yet, what, if any, limits should be considered to human enhancement? On
what grounds can citizens be prevented from modifying their own genes or
brains?  How far should reproductive rights be extended? Might
enhancement reduce the diversity of humanity in the name of optimal
health?  Or, conversely, might enhancements inspire such an
unprecedented diversity of human beings that they strain the limits of
liberal tolerance and social solidarity?  Can we exercise full freedom
of thought if we can't exercise control over our own brains using safe,
available technologies?  Can we ensure that enhancement technologies are
safe and equitably distributed? When are regulatory efforts simply
covert, illiberal value judgments?

Between the ideological extremes of absolute prohibition and total
laissez-faire that dominate popular discussions of human enhancement
there are many competing agendas, hopes and fears.  How can the language
of human rights guide us in framing the critical issues?  How will
enhancement technologies transform the demands we make of human rights?

With the Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights conference we
seek to begin a conversation with the human rights community,
bioethicists, legal scholars, and political activists about the
relationship of enhancement technologies to human rights, cognitive
liberty and bodily autonomy.  It is time to begin the defense of human
rights in the era of human enhancement.



                     Regular	Students
Before March 1, 2006: 	$150  $100
After March 1, 2006: 	$170 	$120
At the door:            $200 	$150

For more information please contact the conference chair: 
James Hughes Ph.D., Executive Director, Institute for Ethics and
Emerging Technologies, Trinity College, Williams 229B, 300 Summit St.,
Hartford CT 06106, USA 
director at ieet.org, (860) 297-2376

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