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Future Sport

Talk given at the Royal College of Art for their Design Interactions programme.

Humanity 2.0

The RSA has just published the video footage to the Humanity 2.0 debate I chaired with panellists Professor Steve Fuller, Dr China Mieville, Dr Sarah Chan & Dr Rachel Armstrong.

Slavoj Zizek

In 2008, Slavoj Zizek was in Liverpool for a couple of days. I took a few photographs of him at a lecture, which have been published in numerous books about him. It is also the photo used within his Wikipedia entry and, today, another publication has used this image. I am very fond of this picture and am sure that its success is predicated on its being freely available online.

However, given the many uses to which it has been put, I wonder whether one may begin to describe it as an iconic image. The photograph conveys a lot about the  man, his independence of thought, his simple, but complex ideas and the bleak background also mark him out as a thinker who can be both celebrated, but also isolated at times, alone with his thoughts.

The success of the photograph makes me wonder whether our sense of what constitutes an iconic image has changed in a digital age. I don't really claim that this photograph has become iconic, but expect that the repeated distribution of a single, free image can create a singular impression of a person which previously may have been afforded by publication in leading periodicals.


Humanity 2.0 RSA

On 6th October I will chair the launch of Professor Steve Fuller's new book 'Humanity 2.0'. Find below the brief for this sold out event:

How will we ascribe status to human life in a ‘post-human’ world? Should we take post-humanism seriously? If so, how do we define and value our humanity in the face of a future that will only otherwise confer advantage on the few? As we re-engineer the human body, and even human genome, are we attempting to realize dreams that hitherto have been largely pursued as social-engineering projects or are we doing something new?

From traders and dreamers to technogeeks and philosophers, whose ideologies run the gamut from collectivism to libertarianism, a large constituency is already engaged with our enhanced future. This constituency may radically reconfigure the global political space.

The RSA gathers a high-profile panel of speakers to explore the hidden agendas behind our values and attitudes toward the place of ‘the human’ in today’s societies, and debate what must now be a key issue for the 21st century.

Speakers: Professor Steve Fuller, Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology, the Department of Sociology, the University of Warwick and author of 'Humanity 2:0'; Dr Rachel Armstrong, Senior TED Fellow and co-director, AVATAR (Advanced Virtual and Technological Architectural Research) in Architecture & Synthetic Biology, The School of Architecture & Construction, University of Greenwich; China Miéville, author of several works of fiction and non-fiction; and Sarah Chan,  Research Fellow in Bioethics and Law, University of Manchester.

Virtual Futures 2.0

This retro conference took place at Warwick University on June 18-19 and was a real blast, with many of the the old guard of the cyberculture years returning to Warwick to revisit the Internet era. I gave one of the plenary talks and enjoyed meeting new people whom i've read for many years and catching up with some familiar folk. There was  a lot of discussion about the intersections of biology and digital technology and my talk was titled 'There's nothing virtual about the future' and addressed the way in which life online has been theorized as non-space.  Here's a link to the website and here's the prezi talk. My laptop died on the way to the conference, so an analogue/digital love story was inevitable...

Photos from the event


Today's event at @CheltSciFest was a blast #cheltscifest. I focused my talk around my 5 categories of human enhancement. Here's the prezi. Great discussion.

Die Untoten

Die Untoten


The first day of Die Untoten took place yesterday. Produced by Hannah Hurtzig and the Mobile Academy, this special event brought together scientists, artists, philosophers, cultural and political theorists, film makers and health care professionals, to explore the subject of life and death. Ethan helped me out with my presentation.

Posthuman Lifestyles: The Film

At long last, the footage from my inaugural lecture is online. Take a peek at the last 10 years of biology and computing to see whether 'the future has arrived'

BBC Focus

My latest press clipping is in the BBC Focus lead feature on 'Superhuman', which runs in the May edition. Check it out for some great visuals and ideas.

Posthuman Lifestyles

Thanks so much to everyone who came to my inaugural lecture last night, especially those who travelled far and wide. It was great to see you and spend time with you. Here's the prezi file for those who couldn't make it (please be patient, it's a big file!). [prezi width="600" height="400"][/prezi]

Posthuman Lifestyles

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: 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:

Extraterrestrial Ethics

Just published on the H+ website. The essay is about creating new life forms, which would explore and appropriate outer space environments, not our discovery of life forms.

Posthuman Designs

here's one from a year back at Oxford University [slideshare id=1202730&doc=miah2008posthumandesignsweb-090326100230-phpapp01]

Letter to Utopia

I've just finished a reply to Nick Bostrom's 'Letter from Utopia' It will appear on my website in a few days, but here's the final document and it's citation details: Miah, A. (2007) Letter to Utopia, v1.0: A Reply to ‘Letter from Utopia, v1.4’ (Bostrom, 2007). PDF Document. Available Online at: