Has the future arrived?

The Inaugural lecture of Professor Andy Miah, University of the West of Scotland (23 March, 2010)

The year 2010 marks the 10-year anniversary of two technological revolutions – the genetic and the digital. It is also one of the most prominent years projected as ‘the future’ in 20th century science fiction.

Professor Miah’s inaugural Professorial lecture will discuss his contribution to imagining the future and critiquing the present, by outlining the successes and failures of an emerging technological culture that marks the end of humanism.

Where + When: 23 March, 2010, 6pm (Arrivals), Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow.

to register, please contact: marketing@uws.ac.uk bring: laptops, mobiles, tweet enabled - hashtag #posthuman


Ten years ago, the first working draft of the human genome project was completed and promised to revolutionize our world. No longer would we be subject to the chance results of the genetic lottery, but could instead, look forward to limitless choices over how we look, behave, feel, and even create future generations.

In the same year, the dot-com bubble peaked and would soon give rise to its first crash. Out of it emerged the Web 2.0 era, a period of more responsible speculation, characterized by open source collaboration. Web 2.0 meant that some of the aspirations to destabilize traditional media forms, which were suggested in the first Internet era, could now be more effectively realized, as the power of user generating communities begun to topple the isolationism of media giants.

These two trajectories – the biological and the digital – have transformed our lives in profound ways and tell the story of how we became posthuman. However, the implications of the biotechnological and digital eras are only just beginning to crystallize and the cautionary tales that they have already generated about technological determinism and dependence need reiterating.

Join Professor Andy Miah for his inaugural lecture at the University of the West of Scotland, during which he will look back on how 21st century technology is revolutionizing our world and what this means for the lives we will lead in the future.

Tags: #bioethics #newmedia #olympic #genetics #digitaleconomy #sport


Professor Andy Miah, age 34, studied at De Montfort University, England and spent the last year of his PhD in Barcelona. In 2002, he came to Scotland and worked at University of Abertay Dundee and as an Associate Lecturer at Glasgow University, before taking the position at UWS. Over the years, he has developed long term collaborations with world leading organizations, such as the world’s leading bioethics institute, the Hastings Center in New York. In 2005, he was made one of the Founding fellows of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies in the USA. In 2008, he was made the first Fellow of the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool, the UK’s leading centre for digital art. Professor Miah has given Master classes around the world including such institutions as the Royal College of Art, Harvard University, Oxford University, University of Geneva, among others.

In 2009, Professor Miah was appointed as Chair of Ethics and Emerging Technologies at UWS. Since being at the university, he has developed a wide range of subject areas, creating such courses as Becoming Posthuman, Cyberculture & Olympic Spectacle. Alongside his work on bioethics, he has written extensively about digital culture. Professor Miah’s research has investigated the ethical and cultural implications of technological change. He has contributed to a wide range of academic disciplines, publishing in as varied a range of journals as Nature, the Journal of Medical Ethics, Cultural Politics, the Journal of Evolution and Technology, and the Journal of Sport Science. He has served as an expert advisor in various international contexts, from the European Parliament’s inquiry into human enhancement, to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s early exploration of genetic doping. Professor Miah is an Editorial Board member for 6 international journals, consisting of Genomics, Society and Policy, Health Care Analysis, Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology, Second Nature: International Journal of Creative Media, International Journal of Technoethics.

He is also a scholar of the Olympic Movement and his controversial research on genetic doping, along with his studies of the media at 6 Olympic Games cities calls for a legacy that is socially responsible, accountable and, above all, culturally transformative.

In 8 years of postdoctoral research Professor Miah has appeared in over 150 news outlets around the world, including BBC’s Newsnight and Andrew Marr’s Start the Week. He has also written for broadsheet news outlets from the Washington Post and the Huffington Post, the leading USA liberal political blog. He is currently a columnist for the Guardian and has been featured in profile pieces within the Scotsman and The Times.

Professor Miah is the author/editor of 4 books, notably ‘Human Futures: Art in an Age of Uncertainty’ (2008), The Medicalization of Cyberspace (2008) and Genetically Modified Athletes (2004), the latter of which was recently translated by Phorte in Brazil, where the 2016 Olympic Games will take place. He is currently completing a book for The MIT Press titled ‘A Digital Olympics: Cybersport, Social Gaming and Citizen Media’ (2011).

The event if open to the media. For interviews prior to the event, please contact:

Niall Gordon Senior Marketing Co-ordinator – PR Corporate Marketing University of the West of Scotland Paisley Campus, PA1 2BE

Tel: +44 (0) 141 848 3726 / +44 (0) 7764 285 882 Email: niall.gordon@uws.ac.uk