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Future Focused


Future Focused

University of Salford, Manchester

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Future Focused


Future Focused

University of Salford, Manchester

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"My work has always focused on questions concerning the future of humanity"

I began by examining the world of elite sports, at a time when the human genome project was just reaching its height. Back in 1998, New Scientist magazine wrote about the possibility of identifying performance genes and this set me on a course of exploring new forms of human enhancement, which grew quickly into an entire PhD looking at the bioethical issues associated with genetics and lifestyle modifications. 

Alongside this, I was focusing also on the emerging world of the Internet, curious about how it was changing the way we relate to each other and the world around us. One of the early courses I wrote focused on 'cyberculture' and how identity was transformed by digital environments. 

As time went on, these areas grew closer and the work I do on the biodigital interface is core to how I think about our future and what we need to consider to ensure we are able to build a vision for the future that addresses some crucial social inequalities.

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Olympic Games


Olympic Games

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Olympic Games


Olympic Games

From 1 August, I will be in Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games.

I have been investigating the Olympics for over 15 years, focusing on the media, culture, politics and the doping debate within the Olympic Movement.

I have published 2 books on the Olympic Games, the first provides a basics overview of key, contemporary issues and historical influences particularly interested in the way that the Olympics commands global political attention and the values upon which it is based, which articulate its role as an international social movement. These include chapters on how the Olympics transcend sports, engaging us with a range of contemporary philosophical, social, cultural and political matters, including: * peace development and diplomacy * management and economics * corruption, terror and activism * the rise of human enhancement * ethics and environmentalism. This book explores the controversy and the legacy of the Olympics, drawing attention to the deeper values of Olympism, as the Olympic movement's most valuable intellectual property. 

The second book looks at Social Media and the Olympics, while my next book 'Sport 2.0' (MIT Press, 2017). considers how journalism has evolved in the digital age and how it changes what we know about the games. Besides studying the broad dimensions of the Olympic programme, I have conducted fieldwork at every winter and summer Olympics since Sydney 2000 working often as an accredited journalist.

My most recent Olympic role is as the social media mentor for the International Olympic Committee Young Reporters programme, which involved taking 35 trainees to the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games to learn how to be an Olympic journalist. 

I was also a supervising Professor at the International Olympic Academy, spent time researching at the IOC Olympic Studies Centre in Lausanne and saw shot putt at the Ancient Stadium of Olympia during the Athens 2004 Olympics.

I also recently led and delivered a new IOC Massive Open Online Course on Sports Media, which brought together some of the world's best media pros.

During the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, I was accredited as a journalist and will be studying the media and politics of the Games. I will do the same thing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games and can't wait to see what the first South American Olympic Games will look like! 

 

 

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Science


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Science


"My background in science began in a School of Sport Sciences at De Montfort University

where I was influenced by all kinds of expertise - psychnology, biomechanics, anatomy, sociology, cultural studies, and philosophy. The latter became the focus for my work and I began on a path which examined fundamental philosophical questions about what it is to be human, what is a good life, and how science, medicine, and techology provoke new questions about our place in the world.

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Technology


Technology

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Technology


Technology

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"Even since I was an undergraduate, I have been fascinated with how technology envelopes our lives"

It seems to me that the single most important issue of our time is how we utilize technology for the better or worse of humanity. As we enter a world of autonomous vehicles, artificially intelligent machines, genetically enhanced lives, and digitally mediated relationships, so many of the things we take for granted are now up for debate. Everything I do focuses on addressing those uncertainties and trying to unravel complex questions that challenge who we think we are and our place in the world.

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Ethics


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Ethics


"all of my research asks questions about what sorts oflives are worth living and the moral and ethical issues we face when confronted with the disrupting consequences of social changE"

Every day, my work asks questions about what kinds of things we should be doing, given the range of values we hold. As the world becomes more globalized, it gets harder to focus ethics and morality on just our narrow circles of solidarity within our geographical locale. We need smart solutions that allow the world to function as a whole and this alone makes it much harder to identify values, codes, and policies which can allow all societies can get behind. This is why sport remains a core interest for me, as it is perhaps the one aspect of human life which relies completely on that shared set of rules. Were it not for this, the whole foundation of sport collapses and, applying this to broader bioethical technologies, I think we face a similar imperative on a global scale to figure out what to permit and what to prohibit.

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Art & Design


Art & Design

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Art & Design


Art & Design

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"Art and design have always featured heavily in my life."

Back in 2003, I launched an undergraduate course titled 'Becoming Posthuman' within which students studied how artists - live, performance, visual - engage with concepts of life and the living within their work, often using biotechnology as their medium.

From 2005, my work started to attract the interest of art schools and, over the years, I have given talks for many, including the Royal College of Art, the Glasgow School of Art, the Edinburgh School of Art, Central St Martins, and various international schools.

 
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Media


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Media


"Media change has fascinated me since my early PhD days"

I've spent a considerable amount of my career studying media change, particularly in how it affects our sense of identity, community, or professional conduct. The Olympic Games provides a regular outlet through which to glimpse into the state of the art in media culture and, over the years, I have nurtured my own creative practice first as a writer, then as a photographer, and more recently as a film maker. 

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Culture


culture

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Culture


culture

"Everything I research and teach is deeply embedded in a concern about how humanity deals with change within society"

Often, my route into a topic is through imagining the changes to our culture that are beginning to emerge as a result of some new set of circumstances, whether it is the possibility of cryonics, or the rise of social media.