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Munich Colloquium – Prof. Sheila Jasanoff

12 Dezember 2017

Human Futures and Future Humans: Governing Disruptive Technologies

We are delighted to announce the next Munich Colloquium on Technology in Society. On Tuesday, 12 December, Prof. Sheila Jasanoff will give a talk on „Human Futures and Future Humans: Governing Disruptive Technologies”
5:00 pm, Vorhoelzer Forum (Arcisstr. 21)

Powerful new technologies that are just around the corner—gene editing, autonomous vehicles, deep learning machines, for instance—promise to change the human future into one that is unimaginably swifter, smarter, more efficient, and freer from pain, disease, and early death than the present we currently inhabit. Less talked about are the consequences for future humans: what sorts of entities will we be when we are even more linked and networked, recorded in vast data systems, subjected to targeted biological manipulation, and dependent on thinking machines for much of our day to day activity? In this talk, I will review today’s approaches to preserving the integrity of the human and consider how that concept might have meaning in the science fiction world that is spread out before us.

Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies (MCTS) and Director of the Harvard Program on Science, Technology, and Society at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she also holds affiliation with Harvard Law School and the Department of History of Science. Her longstanding research interests center on the interactions of law, science, and politics in democratic societies. She is particularly concerned with the construction of public reason in various cultural contexts, and with the role of science and technology in globalization. Specific areas of work include science and the courts; environmental regulation and risk management; emerging biotechnologies; comparative public policy; social studies of science and technology; and science and technology policy. Before joining Harvard, she was Professor of Science Policy and Law and founding chair of the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University. She has published more than 120 articles and book chapters and authored or edited numerous books, including Risk Management and Political Culture (1985); The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers (1990); Learning from Disaster: Risk Management After Bhopal (1994); States of Knowledge: The Co-Production of Science and Social Order (2004); Earthly Politics: Local and Global in Environmental Governance; Designs on Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States (2005); Reframing Rights: Bioconstitutionalism in the Genetic Age (2011); Dreamscapes of Modernity: Sociotechnical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power (2015); and, most recently, The Ethics of Invention (2016). Her book Science at the Bar: Law, Science and Technology in America (1995) received the Don K. Price award of the American Political Science Association, Section on Science, Technology, and Environmental Politics, for the best book on science and politics (1998). An essay collection with several of her key works over the decades, Science and Public Reason, appeared in 2012. Jasanoff’s edited volumes have helped to establish and shape MCTS as a distinct field of inquiry. In 1995, she served as co-editor of the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. Her books have been translated into half a dozen languages, including French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Jasanoff’s work has been recognized with many awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Twente, an Ehrenkreuz from the Government of Austria, the Sarton medal in history of science of the University of Ghent, a Guggenheim Fellowship, membership in the Royal Danish Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Reimar Lüst Award by the Alexander v. Humboldt Foundation for her contributions to academic and cultural relations between Germany and the US through her research.

The Munich Colloquium on Technology in Society is designed as a series of public lectures. These lectures will be held by defining figures in the area of Science and Technology Studies and explore key issues on the crossroads of science, knowledge, technology, and social life. We look forward to welcoming you!


12 Dezember 2017


München, Deutschland