Science, Knowledge, and Humanity: Debating the future of progress

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Wed Sep 12 2001 - 03:16:18 MDT

Maybe of extropian interest? I noted many high-powered names.

Science, Knowledge, and Humanity: Debating the future of progress

October 26 - 28, 2001, New York City

"Science, Knowledge and Humanity" is a major series of public
debates about the future prospects for human innovation and
progress, organized by the London-based Institute of Ideas and the
New School University's Wolfson Center for National Affairs. The
event is co-sponsored by Reason magazine and features many prominent
speakers, including Reason's Nick Gillespie, Virginia Postrel, and
Ronald Bailey.

Background is available here.

New School University
 Tishman Auditorium
 66 West 12th Street
 New York City

 $35 for all sessions ($10/$15/$15 Fri/Sat/Sun sessions
Registration or questions:
 Call 212-229-5353 or e-mail
In the UK, call +44-20-7269-9229

In cooperation with: Dorian Devins (Science Matters Foundation);
Natasha Gill (New York University); Norman Levitt (Rutgers


At the beginning of the 21st century human achievement is a cause
for celebration - not least in the fields of scientific enquiry and
technological application. We live longer, healthier lives than ever
before and have unlocked many of the great mysteries of the natural

But have we gone too far? Global warming, species extinction,
genetic experimentation and the unexpected side effects of
agricultural technology, to name but a few, are recurrent themes in
newspaper headlines - and in our nightmares.

Are scares about modern food and medicines a rational response to a
world apparently dominated by corporate greed and government
corruption, or do they express an ill-founded pessimism about human
achievement? Do the complexities of the natural world demand a more
precautionary approach, or are we exaggerating uncertainties for
fear of the future?

Have we abandoned the concepts of universal knowledge and
objectivity for good ? Is there something important about these
ideas that needs to be rescued? Does the ever-increasing ethical
scrutiny of scientists' work reflect a more responsible attitude to
competing interests or an unhelpful politicization of science?

Speakers include:

BRUCE AMES, UC Berkely (Biochemistry), author 'Environmental
Chemicals Causing Cancer and Birth Defects'
RONALD BAILEY, Science Correspondent, Reason Magazine, author
JEAN BETHKE ELSHTAIN, University of Chicago, author of 'Who Are We?
Critical Reflections and Hopeful Possibilities'
D GRAHAM BURNETT, an Historian of Science and author of 'Masters of
All They Surveyed' , is Assistant Professor of History, Princeton
NAPOLEON CHAGNON, Professor of Sociobiology, UCalifornia, Santa
Barbara, author 'The Yanomomo' and 'Adaptation and Human Behaviour'
IRENA CHALMERS, award-winning food writer, author, The Great Food
JAMES CHATTERS, paleoanthropologoist, author 'Ancient Encounters:
Kennewick Man and the First Americans'
JON ENTINE, author of 'Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and
Why We're Afraid to Talk About It'
MIKE FITZPATRICK, London medical doctor and author of 'The Tyranny
of Health'
FRANCIS FUKUYAMA, John Hopkins University, author of 'The End of
History and the Last Man', 'Trust' and 'The Great Disruption'
FRANK FUREDI, Reader in Sociology at the University of Kent at
Canterbury, author of 'Culture of Fear' and 'Population and
NICK GILLESPIE, editor-in-chief, Reason Magazine
SARAH GLAZER, journalist and author of 'Therapeutic Touch and
Postmodernism in Nursing'
ROBERT KRAUSE, Quinnipiac and Yale Universities, and Global Action
JOSEPH LEDOUX, New York University, author of 'The Emotional Brain'
KENAN MALIK, author of 'Man, Beast and Zombie: what science can and
cannot tell us about human nature'
PHIL MULLAN, CEO of Cyberia Corporation and author 'The Imaginary
VIRGINIA POSTREL, editor-at-large, Reason magazine author 'The
Future and Its Enemies'
EDWARD ROTHSTEIN, 'critic at large', New York Times, author 'Emblems
of Mind'
CHARLES SECRETT, Director of Friends of the Earth UK
ULLICA SEGERSTRALE, Illinois Institute of Technology, author
'Defenders of the Truth: the Sociobiology Debate'
ANDREW VICKERS, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Care Center, NYC and editor
of 'Examining Complementary Medicine - The Skeptical Holist'
JACKIE WOOTTON, President of the Alternative Medicine Foundation and
editor of the Journal of Alternative Medicine


Friday, October 26, Opening Plenary (evening): What is it to be
Human?: what science can and cannot tell us about human nature

Saturday, October 27, Who's Afraid of Science? Folklore versus
Scientific Lore - Food Biotechnology Folklore versus Scientific Lore
- Alternative Medicine Evening Plenary: The Future of Progress

Sunday, October 28, The Ethics of Knowledge - Knowable but
Unthinkable? The Kennewick Man Dispute Genetically Engineering
People Is the Future Human?

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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