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Event Details


Exciting developments in the life sciences and their application in biotechnology are helping to provide pioneering cures and therapies for inherited and degenerative diseases. Consider genomics and genetic based therapies, neuroscience and neuropharmacology, ICT implants and prosthetics, nanomedicine and the required socio-cultural accommodations to ageing and you will see how the way in which we perceive ourselves and those around us is slowly being recast.  As our knowledge and its application continues to grow and expand, the range, scope and magnitude of what we are able to achieve seems to be limitless.

Building on the success of last year’s event and the many positive and encouraging comments from participants, this year’s interdisciplinary symposium is convened in order to further build capacity as well as consolidate existing scholarship on perspectives on the human body and identity in the face of new advances in emerging technologies.

Some key questions this symposium will aim to address include the following:

      Is human identity being transformed, redefined or superseded through new developments in medicine and technology?

      Do these new emerging technologies present as radical and revolutionary changes to how we see ourselves (as is sometimes claimed)? Or, are they in fact no different to their predecessors?

      How are we to evaluate or assess the moral significance of these new technologies to our identity as humans?

      What does it mean to have identity and to be identifiable in the 21st Century?

      Are new technologies helping to redefine what we recognise as the human body? Are they in some ways helping to make the human body redundant? If so, in what ways?

      What are the social, ethical and policy implications of these changes, both locally and globally, as we increasingly encounter the rapid expansion of biotechnologies worldwide?

      Is altering the shape and appearance of the body contributing to our loss of contact with the body? How does this affect traditional ideas about the mind/body distinction?


The Daryll Forde Seminar Room
Department of Anthropology, University College London (UCL)
14 Taviton Street
London, United Kingdom