CSRC project directors to address transhumanist issues at IHR

Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Ben Hurlbut, directors of a new Center project titled “The Transhumanist Imagination: Innovation, Secularization, and Exchatology," will be participating in a panel discussion at 4 p.m. on September 11, 2012 at the Institute for Humanities Research in Social Sciences Building, Room 109. The panel discussion is titled "Being Human in a Post-Human World" and focuses on the rapidly-accelarating pace of human technological and bio-medical enhancement.

What does it mean to be human in a world where technological advancement works at a scale and speed beyond human comprehension? In such a world, do we change what it means to be human? How do we fit in such a world? These are just some of the questions to be addressed during the panel discussion.

Tirosh-Samuelson and Hurbut will be joined on the panel by Ron Brolio, a professor of English and participant in the Center's faculty seminar on transhumanism. Dan Gillifand, acting director and associate professor of German literacy and information technology, will serve as the panel moderator.

Tirosh-Samuelson, director of Jewish studies and professor of history, writes on Jewish intellectual history and the relationship of religion and science, with a focus on Judaism and ecology and bioethics. She was the principal investigator and project director for a multi-year project, "Facing the Challenges of Transhumanism: Religion, Science, Technology," funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation/Metanexus Institute. In addition to a series of public lectures and workshops, the project produced a series of ground-breaking books, including "Building Better Humans? Refocusing the Debate on Transhumanism" (edited by Tirosh-Samuelson and Kenneth Mossman, a professor in ASU's School of Life Sciences) and "The Techno-Human Condition" (by ASU's Brad Allenby and Daniel Sarewitz).

Tirosh-Samuelson and Hurlbut have been awarded a new grant from the John Templeton Foundation/Boston University Program in Religion and Innovation in Human Affairs, which will address the ways in which religious motifs animate the secular-seeming futuristic scenarios driving the transhumanist agenda, and the policy implications that flow from that.