Human Enhancement in Brussels (2009, Feb 24)


February 24, 2009Brussels, Belgium

IEET fellow Andy Miah will be speaking at the one day workshop for the European Parliament in Brussels, on Tuesday 24 February 2009

Sponsored by the Rathenau Institute

Human enhancement is the trend to improve the body & mind of human beings by technological means. Examples are the use of “smart pills” to improve concentration or cosmetic surgery. Other examples are selecting embryos that are genetically disease-free to use in an IVF procedure, mood brightening drugs or devices.

These and other technologies promise benefits for the individual using them, but what are the long-term effects? Will human enhancement enlarge social and economic differences? And will the health care remain affordable? Should research into such technologies be stimulated or not? We believe that there are three strategies that the EU could take in response to the challenges human enhancement will pose to the EU. We think that human enhancement raises serious challenges to the EU, and we have identified three strategies that the EU could take to respond to these.

These strategies will be presented by and discussed with experts during the workshop. Some more information on human enhancement, the challenges it poses, the three strategies, and the workshop can be found in the attached information folder.

The workshop is a part of our project on human enhancement. The goal of the project is to provide policy options on human enhancement to the European Parliament. This project is commissioned by the European Parliament and is carried out by ITAS and the Rathenau Institute. We will incorporate the debate during the workshop in the final report.

The workshop will be held on 24 February 2009 in the European Parliament (Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Brussels). The first part of the workshop will be from 12.45 to 14.15 in room ASP 5F385 and will explore which of the three strategies will be most suitable for the EU. During this part of the workshop, a sandwich lunch will be provided.

The second part of the workshop will be held in room ASP 5G2 from 14.45 to 16.30. In this part, the strategies will be put to the test and will be thoroughly debated – hopefully by you as well!

If you want to attend the workshop, you need to register by sending an e-mail with subject “workshop human enhancement” to info @ rathenau.nl before 16 February 2009. This e-mail should include your name, nationality and date of birth. This information is necessary to ensure your access to the European Parliament and will be treated confidentially.

Please do not hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions about the workshop or our project.

Yours sincerely,

Martijntje Smits and Mirjam Schuijff Rathenau Institute

E-mail: m.smits @ rathenau.nl or m.schuijff @ rathenau.nl Telephone: + 31 70 342 15 42

Yours faithfully,

Mirjam Schuijff, Researcher Technology Assessment Rathenau Institute

Phone: (0031) 70 34 21 524

Address: Anna van Saksenlaan 51 2593 HW The Hague

Postal address: Postbus 95366 2509 CJ THE HAGUE (NL)

The Rathenau Institute focuses on the influence of science and technology on our daily lives and maps its dynamics; through independent research and debate.