Transhuman minds? Is cognitive enhancement a human right? Tuesday 11th March 2008, 3-6pm

The Royal Society of Medicine, London W1G 0AE

The development of cognitive enhancement has meant the phrase "give your brain a boost" now brings with it a range of connotations which have never been experienced thus far in human history. The convergence of nano-, bio- and information technology with cognitive science promises many interesting forms of cognitive enhancement. Neurobiology is expanding our understanding of how the brain works in association with neural systems and information technology is providing vastly improved signal processing capabilities for use in neurobiological research. Accompanying such advances, cognitive neuroscience is pushing back the traditional boundaries of cognitive psychology to broaden understanding with regard to the interaction between brain structure, function and cognition.

The prospect of being able to enhance human cognition presents a nexus of questions associated with future ambitions, hopes and concerns. Should individuals be allowed the freedom and the right to decide for themselves how best to use enhancement technologies? Is government intervention and regulation required in order for both individuals and society to thrive through the use of enhancement technologies? Or does the very notion of human essence prohibit enhancement in all its forms?

BioCentre invites you to an assessment of what cognitive enhancement promises and how best to harness its potential informed by leading specialists in the field.

Speakers will include:

Professor Ruud ter Meulen Professor of Ethics in Medicine, University of Bristol

Dr. Anders Sandberg James Martin Research Fellow, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University

Dr. Daniela Cerqui Social and Cultural anthropologist, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Dr. Donald Fitzmaurice (tbc) Director of ePlanet Ventures, former Professor of Nanotechnology, University College Dublin

The discussion will be chaired by Professor Nigel M de S Cameron, Executive Chairman of BioCentre: Centre for Bioethics & Public Policy.

RSVPs are required. Please include your name and the organisation that you represent in your response. There is no charge for the event.


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