Remaking the Human: Technoscience, Dignity and the Meaning of Progress

This event last occurred Oct. 27, 2021

This is an online event via Zoom.

Ideas of the humanof what humanity is and what it can behave long been bound up with narratives of progress.

The universal human, defined by reason, was at the core of the Enlightenment project. In the 20th century, projects of global development ushered in new figures of the human as the subject of universal rights and agent of economic transformation. The 21st century has, in turn, ushered in a figure of humanity as author of the Anthropocene and the subject of its own projects of technoscientific transformation—biological, cognitive and social.

Traces of older notions of universal humanity—of human reason, purpose, flourishing and progress—persist in present visions of technological progress, even as those visions re-conceive humanity as a malleable object of transformation and improvement.

What do imaginations of the human—particularly as scientifically knowable and technologically transformable—mean for shared conceptions of human identity, dignity, rights and progress?

Join us as we explore these and other questions in a moderated discussion with:

Anya Bernstein, professor of anthropology at Harvard University and award-winning documentary filmmaker

Patricia Williams, University Distinguished Professor of Law and Humanities and director of law, technology and ethics initiatives at Northeastern University

Antonio Damasio, University Professor, David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, professor of psychology, professor of philosophy and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California

Craig Calhoun, University Professor of Social Sciences at Arizona State University (moderator)
This lecture is made possible through the support of a grant from the Templeton Religion Trust for the project, "Beyond Secularization: A New Approach to Religion, Science and Technology in Public Life." The views expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton Religion Trust. 
light lines tangled through forest trees


For more information contact:

Jennifer Clifton
Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict
(480) 965-9499