Future Human: Are we ready for Humanity 2.0?

Future Human: Are we ready for Humanity 2.0?

BioCentre Thought Leader Telecon series 2011–12

BioCentre is pleased to announce details about its 2011–12 thought leader teleconference series.

Developments in emerging technologies and their corresponding convergence are leading to very great increases in our power over matter, including human nature itself. As we speed up the exponential curve of Moore’s Law, the challenges that these advances in technology help us to focus on one key perennial question: what does it mean to be human?  

At the heart of every human culture lies a core set of assumptions about human nature.  These assumptions are typically unstated, self–evident to members of the group and therefore almost invisible in their common life.  Yet they become more evident as we become aware that they are in dispute; that the culture is unsure of its assumptions; that it is in the process of changing them.  As advances in nanoscience, artificial intelligence and biotechnology continue the future of humanity is thrown into question. How should we treat human beings both now and in the future? Does the future hold some form of new, even post–human?  

This series will invite key thought leaders and commentators to share their ideas, opinions and comments on the future of humanity and give opportunity for other callers to ask questions and discuss the issues raised.  In seeking to “host the conversation” BioCentre aims to gather together all articulate voices in order to have a productive conversation which spans the disciplines.

Telecons are open to all and accessible worldwide. 

To receive call–in details, email your name and affiliation to:

Coming up…


  • Monday 18th June 2012 – “More than Human?”

With Neil Harbisson, first person in the world to wear an eyeborg and founder of the the Cyborg Foundation, an international organisation to help humans become cyborgs and Pete Moore, author of Enhancing Me: The Hope and the Hype of Human Enhancement.

More details on how to access the calls will be released shortly.

To register your interest email




Past calls in the series:

Preparing for Humanity 2.0 – with Prof Steve Fuller

Tuesday 6th December 2011, 3pm (UK time)

Speaking on the main ideas which have helped to shape his recent book, Humanity 2.0: What it Means to be Human Past, Present and Future Steve argues we need to start taking the profound questions that arise from post–humanism seriously if we are to ensure more than the few will benefit.

There will be an opportunity for call participants to ask questions and join the conversation.

To receive call–in details, email your name and affiliation to:

Prof Steve FullerSteve Fuller (born 1959, New York City) holds the Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology in the Department of Sociology, University of Warwick. Originally trained in the history and philosophy of science (Ph.D., 1985, University of Pittsburgh), he is the founder of the research program of social epistemology.

He is particularly interested in the sociology of knowledge, history, philosophy and sociology of science, the nature the university and intellectual life, and normative issues relating to recent developments on the impact of science and technology on the political order, especially concerning our changing conceptions of the biological and what it means to be human.

Published this year, his latest book is entitled ‘Humanity 2.0: What it Means to be Human Past, Present and Future’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

Future Human: A sci–fi perspective with Justina Robson

Friday 9th December 2011, 3pm (UK time)

From the angle of a sci–fi writer, Justina Robson will offer her thoughts and reflections as to SF’s visions on the future of humanity, the challenges posed by robotics and AI and what she believes are the key questions which we need to be considering and thinking about.

To receive call–in details, email your name and affiliation to:


Justina RobsonRobson attended the Clarion West Writing Workshop and was first published in 1994 in the British small press magazine The Third Alternative, but is best known as a novelist.

Her debut novel Silver Screen was shortlisted for both the Arthur C Clarke Award and the BSFA Award in 2000. Her second novel, Mappa Mundi, was also shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award in 2001. It won the 2000 Writer’s Bursary. In 2004, Natural History, Robson’s third novel, was shortlisted for the BSFA Award, and came second in the John W Campbell Award.

In 2002 she was invited to take part in the UK Government’s Foresight Project’s Cognitive Science brainstorming sessions.  

Robson’s novels have been noted for sharply–drawn characters, and an intelligent and deeply thought–out approach to the tropes of the genre. She has been described as “one of the very best of the new British hard SF writers”.

Her novels include:

Silver Screen (London: Macmillan, 1999) 

British Science Fiction Award nominee, 1999
Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee, 2000

Philip K. Dick Award nominee, 2005

Mappa Mundi (London: Macmillan, 2001)

Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee, 2002

Natural History (London: Macmillan, 2003)

British Science Fiction Award nominee, 2003
Campbell Award nominee, 2004
Philip K. Dick Award nominee, 2005

Living Next–Door to the God of Love (London: Macmillan, 2005)

British Science Fiction Award nominee, 2005
Philip K. Dick Award nominee, 2006
Campbell Award nominee, 2007

Quantum Gravity series

Keeping It Real (London: Gollancz, 2006)
Selling Out (London: Gollancz, 2007)
Going Under (London: Gollancz, 2008)
Chasing the Dragon (August, 2009)
Down to the Bone (Gollancz January 2011)


Dates to be confirmed.




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