The Coming Epoch of Enhanced Societies?
The Challenge of Human Enhancement to Regulation, Ethics, and Public Policy
Padua, Italy, September 6-7, 2012
A convergence of technoscientific developments and of social and individual demands and desires appears to amount to a tendency towards an ‘enhancement society’. Increased productivity, better brains, longer and healthier lives, stronger bodies, and relief from sorrow have been actively sought by humans for centuries, but the recent breakthroughs in emerging sciences and technologies are considered by many as the instruments to transform these dreams into reality.
However, dramatic social disruptions, expanded social surveillance, new and increased inequalities and even dehumanization are feared as possible consequences of the development and diffusion of these ‘human enhancement technologies’.
The management of such contentious technologies requires a comprehensive governance
framework that does not exist yet in the EU or elsewhere. The FP7 Science in Society funded Collaborative Research Project EPOCH – “Ethics in Public Policy Making: The Case of Human Enhancement” has explored the interplay of ethics, regulation and policy making in the current governance of new and emerging science and technology, in order to elaborate a participatory, socially inclusive, and reflexive governance framework of human enhancement technologies.
The EPOCH Final Conference will gather together academia, decision-makers and members of society to generate new insights into the role of ethical expertise in European policy making on new and emerging science and technologies, and to discuss possible and desirable governance models of human enhancement technologies.