ANNOUNCING: FOUR SESSIONS related to transhumanism and human enhancement at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion in November in Boston.
- The question of human germline gene editing and its potential for human enhancement will be explored at a session on Friday, Nov 17, from 2:30 to 5:00. Speakers include MIT Professor Richard O. Hynes, who co-chairs a committee of the National Academy of Sciences charged with exploring the ethical and legal challenges of human germline modification, especially in light of CRISPR and other new gene editing technologies. Others on the panel include Laurie Zoloth, Dean of the Divinity School at the University of Chicago and 2014 Past President of the AAR. This event is open to the public without registration and will be held at the Sheraton Boston, Republic B (second level). This session is sponsored by the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR). More details can be found at https://papers.aarweb.org/program_book?keys=CRISPR&field_session_slot_nid=All
- Two of the four events are offered by the Human Enhancement and Transhumanism Unit of the AAR. The first of these is on Saturday, Nov 18, the Unit offers a session on “Barbies, Bots, and Mere Mortals: Images of God?” The session runs from 1:00 to 3:30 in Sheraton Boston-Back Bay B (Second Level). For more, see https://papers.aarweb.org/program_book?keys=Barbies&field_session_slot_nid=All.
- A session on “Human Enhancement: Biological Frameworks and Cyborg Theologies,” under the sponsorship of the ISSR, will be held on Saturday, 4:00-5:30, in Fairmont Copley Place-State Suite A (Lower Lobby Level). This session features two authors and their new books, Harris Wiseman’s The Myth of the Moral Brain (2016) and Scott Midson’s Cyborg Theology: Humans, Technology and God (2017), with a response by Jennifer Thweatt. See https://papers.aarweb.org/program_book?keys=m18-306&field_session_slot_nid=All
- Then on Monday, Nov 20, the Human Enhancement and Transhumanism Unit (with the joint sponsorship of the Religion and Science Fiction Unit) offers a session entitled “Religion, Science Fiction, and Transhumanism” will be held in the Hynes Convention Center-202 (Second Level) from 1:00 to 3:30. See https://papers.aarweb.org/program_book?keys=gittinger&field_session_slot_nid=All.
SCHEDULE OVERVIEW in Chronological Order:
- Friday, 2:30-5:00, “CRISPR/Cas and Human Germline Gene Editing.” Sheraton Boston-Republic B (second level).
- Saturday, 1:00-3:30, “Barbies, Bots, and Mere Mortals: Image of God?” Sheraton Boston-Back Bay B (second level).
- Saturday, 4:00-5:30, “Human Enhancement: Biological Frameworks and Cyborg Theologies.” Fairmont Copley Place-State Suite A (Lower Lobby Level).
- Monday, 1:00-3:30, “Religion, Science Fiction, and Transhumanism.” Hynes Convention Center-202.