Project

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Superhumains.ch? The Next Generations

English title Superhumans.ch? The Next Generations
Applicant Biller-Andorno Nikola
Number 151527
Funding scheme Agora
Research institution Institut für Biomedizinische Ethik und Medizingeschichte Ethik-Zentrum der Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Philosophy
Start/End 01.02.2014 - 31.01.2017
Approved amount 180'000.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Philosophy
Public Health and Health Services

Keywords (11)

neuroethics; designer babies; bioethics; cyborg anthropology; neuro-enhancement; genetic engineering; ethics; cosmetic enhancement; human enhancement; brain computer interface; doping

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
L’objectif du projet «Superhumains.ch » est d’informer et de dialoguer avec des collégiens et des étudiants professionnels sur les questions bioéthiques concernant l’utilisation des technologies émergentes sur les êtres humains.
Lay summary
Les récents progrès technologiques permettent de plus en plus de modifier technologiquement notre espèce. Beaucoup de « traits normaux » peuvent être artificiellement « améliorés ». Par conséquent, les questions éthiques de l’amélioration humaine ont commencé à être sérieusement prises au sérieux par les chercheurs du monde entier dans le milieu académique. Bien qu’une telle révolution technologique concerne la société dans son ensemble, les débats portant sur ces questions sont souvent limités au monde universitaire. Bien que le grand public soit souvent informé à travers les médias sur l’emploi de ces technologies émergentes, il est peu conscient des discussions portant sur ces questions et n’est pas nécessairement équipé pour participer pleinement aux discussions.

L'objectif de « Superhumains.ch » est donc de créer un dialogue avec trois classes de collégiens et d'étudiants professionnels afin d’analyser ces questions d’amélioration humaine en réfléchissant et dialoguant avec des experts de notre institut dans des groupes de travail. La première étape du projet consiste à dialoguer et informer les participants sur les possibilités présentes et futures de modifications technologiques de notre espèce. La deuxième étape consiste à leur donner des outils conceptuels qui leur permettront de construire de solides arguments afin de répondre aux questions concernant l’amélioration humaine. La troisième étape donne aux participants l'occasion de partager leur réflexion à un plus large public à travers une exposition et une présentation de leurs projets. Ils écriront et illustreront également des articles en ligne, qui seront publiés sur le site Internet et blog « Superhumains.ch ».

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.10.2015

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
The goal of the project “Superhumains.ch” is to educate, inform and dialogue with high school (Matura) and professional students (Berufsschule) about bioethical issues regarding the use of emerging technologies on humans.
Lay summary

Recent technological progresses have made technological modifications of human beings a real possibility. Many ‘normal traits’ may be artificially enhanced. Therefore, ethical issues related to human enhancement have started to be seriously considered by scholars around the world. While such a technological kind of revolution concerns the society as a whole, debates addressing the ethical issues related to human enhancement have mainly been restricted to academics. While lay people are frequently informed by the media about the present – or future – use of emerging technologies to enhance human capacities, they are either largely unaware of the discussions addressing ethical issues of human enhancement or might lack some tools to understand and participate fully into the discussions. Additionally, the media has largely overlooked socio-ethical issues related to the utilization of those new technologies on humans. Basically, one notices two extreme reactions: the ‘yeah’ and ‘yuck’ factors, which describe emotional responses regarding the use of emerging technologies to enhance human beings. Such reactions are based on the difficulty to come up with well-argued and rational arguments, beyond emotional reactions that might come naturally first. However, biomedical ethics has developed normative tools that may be useful for lay people to transform emotional reactions into a rational and informed understanding of what is at stake regarding socio-ethical issues related to human enhancement. The objective of ‘Superhumains.ch’ is to dialogue with and give high school and professional students the opportunity to think, write and illustrate about these issues as part as their biology and/or art courses.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.10.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Vincent Menuz / collège Rousseau Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Line Evequoz / Lycée-Collège cantonal de la Planta, Sion Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Fondation Brocher Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
Neohumanitas Switzerland (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Laure Delay Ramadan Switzerland (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Barbara Polla Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Universität Zürich Abteilung Kommunikation Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Prof Béatrice Godard/OMICS-Ethics Canada (North America)
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Imagine+? Quand une comédie illustre les enjeux éthiques du débat sur l’amélioration humaine Bulletin des médecins suisses Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Innovation: Et l'homme devint machine Bilan Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media L'Humain 1.0 va disparaître Le Matin Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Quel est ce néo-humain ? International 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Superhumains.ch: passés, présents, futurs Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: radio, television Versus-penser - Transhumanisme: vivre jusqu'à 1000ans? RTS Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media «Human Enhancement» – auf dem Weg zum Supermenschen NZZ am Sonntag German-speaking Switzerland 2016
Talks/events/exhibitions A 'Youthful' and Artistic Analysis of the Ethics of Human Enhancement International 2016
Media relations: print media, online media Éloge de la fragilité à l'ère de l'Homme augmenté Le Temps Western Switzerland 2016
Media relations: print media, online media L’humanité en question La Liberté Western Switzerland 2016
Media relations: print media, online media La singularité technologique et le revenu de base inconditionnel Le Temps Western Switzerland 2016
Media relations: print media, online media Précision sur l’immortalité Le Temps Western Switzerland 2016
Talks/events/exhibitions Superhumains.ch: artistic perspectives on human enhancement International 2016
Talks/events/exhibitions TEDxMartigny: Mourir, une faute morale? Western Switzerland International 2016
Media relations: print media, online media Transhumanisten: Da geht noch was NZZ Campus German-speaking Switzerland 2016
Media relations: print media, online media Vincent Menuz : «Mourir est devenu aujourd’hui une faute morale» Migros Magazine Western Switzerland 2016
Media relations: radio, television Bientôt l'immortalité… RTS Western Switzerland 2015
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Brochure 'Superhumains.ch' International 2015
Talks/events/exhibitions Carnotzet scientifique: Valaisans augmentés : la science pour se dépasser ou se soigner? Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: radio, television Dessine-moi l'homme de l'an 3000 Le Nouvelliste Western Switzerland 2015
Talks/events/exhibitions Digital Exhibition superhumains.ch at #TheBodyElectric art exhibit in Vancouver International 2015
Media relations: print media, online media Johann Roduit, le Valaisan hyperconnecté sur le monde et l’agora Le Temps Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: print media, online media L’Homme augmenté : un fantasme qui devient réalité H+ Magazine (Humanoïde.fr) International 2015
Media relations: print media, online media L’humain augmenté: entre amélioration et déshumanisation L'Hebdo Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: print media, online media L'art peut transformer et informer la médecine Huffington Post International 2015
Talks/events/exhibitions Les jeunes adultes:une nouvelle génération de superhumains? Brownbag talk, Université de Genève Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: radio, television Marchez, courez, pédalez, votre bracelet vous surveille! RTS (A Bon Entendeur) Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: radio, television Mise au point: 2 ou 3 siècles de vie en plus RTS International Western Switzerland 2015
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Postcard 'Superhumains.ch' German-speaking Switzerland International Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: print media, online media Superhumains.ch : offrir des outils réflexifs aux jeunes adultes Valais Valeur Ajoutée Western Switzerland 2015
Talks/events/exhibitions Superhumains.ch: a youthful analysis of human enhancement - Société Suisse d'Ethique Biomédicale German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland 2015
Media relations: print media, online media Superhumains: des collégiens imaginent les hommes de l'an 3000 Le Nouvelliste Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: print media, online media Sur les traces du futur au Lycée-Collège de la Planta à Sion Résonances, mensuel de l'Ecole valaisanne Western Switzerland 2015
Talks/events/exhibitions Talk with Barbara Polla: Café scientifique Western Switzerland 2015
Talks/events/exhibitions The Zurich 2015 Winter School on human enhancement International 2015
Media relations: print media, online media Ados invités à s'exprimer sur les biotechnologies 20 Minutes Western Switzerland 2014
Media relations: print media, online media Collégiens en mode recherche Le Nouvelliste Western Switzerland 2014
Media relations: print media, online media Des élèves se penchent sur l'humain de demain Tribune de Genève Western Switzerland 2014
Media relations: print media, online media Des Valaisans contribuent aux enjeux éthiques de la technologie Rhône FM Western Switzerland 2014
Media relations: print media, online media L’humain face aux technologies La Liberté Western Switzerland 2014
Media relations: print media, online media L'amélioration humaine a déjà commencé Le Matin Western Switzerland 2014
Media relations: print media, online media Le collège de la Planta participe à Superhumains.ch Le Nouvelliste Western Switzerland 2014
Media relations: print media, online media Les ados appelés à se prononcer sur les enjeux des nouvelles technologies RTS Info Western Switzerland 2014
Media relations: print media, online media Les ados sont invités à se prononcer quant aux enjeux soulevés par les nouvelles technologies RTS Info Western Switzerland 2014
Talks/events/exhibitions Mini-Académie: Superhumains.ch Western Switzerland 2014
Video/Film Superhumains.ch Italian-speaking Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland International Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2014
Talks/events/exhibitions Superhumains.ch: L’amélioration humaine vue par les ados Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland 2014

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
141419 Enhancement and Human Perfection 01.05.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
165222 Science Fiction and the Ethics of Human Enhancement 01.12.2015 International short research visits

Abstract

The goal of the project “Superhumains.ch” is to educate, inform and dialogue with high school (Matura) and professional students (Berufsschule) about bioethical issues regarding the use of emerging technologies on humans. Recent technological progresses have made technological modifications of human beings a real possibility. Many “normal traits” may be artificially “enhanced”. Therefore, socio-ethical issues related to human enhancement have started to be seriously considered by scholars around the world. While such a technological kind of revolution concerns the society as a whole, debates addressing the socio-ethical issues related to human enhancement have mainly been restricted to academics. While lay people are frequently informed by the media about the present - or future - use of emerging technologies to enhance human capacities, they are either largely unaware of the discussions addressing socio-ethical issues of human enhancement or might lack some tools to understand and participate fully into the discussions. Additionally, the media has largely overlooked socio-ethical issues related to the utilization of those new technologies on humans. Basically, one notices two extreme reactions: the “yeah” and “yuck” factors, which describe emotional responses regarding the use of emerging technologies to enhance human beings. Such reactions are based on the difficulty to come up with well-argued and rational arguments, beyond emotional reactions that might come naturally first. However, biomedical ethics has developed normative tools that may be useful for lay people to transform emotional reactions into a rational and informed understanding of what is at stake regarding socio-ethical issues related to human enhancement.The objective of “Superhumains.ch” is to dialogue with and give high school and professional students the opportunity to think, write and illustrate about these issues as part as their biology and/or art courses. The first step of the project is to dialogue and inform the students of both already existing as well as future potential possibilities to technologically modify human beings. The second step is to give them conceptual tools that will help them to construct strong arguments related to socio-ethical issues related to human enhancement. The third step is to give the students the opportunity to share their thinking about such issues to a larger public through an exhibition and a public presentation of their projects. They will write and illustrate online articles that will be published on a website and a blog. Ultimately, they will write a book chapter on a given thematic, where each chapter will be edited and compiled into an eBook. Teenagers from three different classes - 1) professional students in Geneva (Centre de formation professionnelle pour la construction), 2) high school students in visual art in Sion (Lycée-Collège de la Planta) and 3) biology high school students in Geneva- will participate in the project. Their work on the project will last one school year (2014-2015) and will be graded as their other schoolwork. After two and a half days of introduction classes at the Brocher’s foundation (Geneva, September 2014) during a retreat, participants will spend the rest of their school year (2014-2015) working on the project by group of 3-4 students. Each group will select a case study that they will cover in depth during the year. Case studies may concern, genetic engineering, neuro-enhancement, doping, cloning, brain-computer interface, cosmetic enhancement, designer babies or anti-ageing. Participants from the three schools will be in constant dialogue via Internet (e.g “Google Hangouts”). In March 2015, a workshop will be organized at the Institute of Biomedical Ethics (IBME) at the University of Zurich. This workshop could also be part of the 20 years anniversary celebration of the Ethik-Zentrum. Participants will have the opportunity to present their preliminary work, receive feedback and engage in discussion with experts. Finally, starting June 2015, they will present their work to in different exhibitions. From July to December 2015, their work will be compiled, edited and then published online (eBook), promoted on the website Superhumains.ch, on the University of Zurich website and on the website of the Swiss think tank Neohumanitas . For the duration of the project, participants will benefit from experts, resources and information provided by the IBME. This will give students the opportunity to learn about present and future socio-ethical issues related to the use of emerging technologies on humans and to be equipped with a set of conceptual tools giving them the capacity to ethically analyze the use of some technologies. It will also give them the opportunity to collaborate with students from other cantons. To have the next generation of thinkers and doers participating in this endeavor will be both exciting and intellectually stimulating. It is crucial to make teenagers aware of the kind of world they will be part of and what part of this world they may want to change for the better. The tools they will learn during that year will equip them adequately.
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