Enhancing Human Capacities: Ethics, Regulation and European Policy
Person photo Prof Gustaf Arrhenius
Practical Philosophy (Department of Philosophy)

Funding source: EU Sixth Framework Programme - Science and society
Period: 10/1/05 - 3/31/08
Funding: 570000 EUR
Biotechnologies may be applied to make people think better, feel happier, live longer or to improve their functioning in sports. These enhancements of human capacities have their roots in the healing of illness and the relief of suffering, but have come to a second use in the efforts to improve human feeling, mind and physical performance. These dual-use technologies raise not only ethical questions about potential, but also about their consequences on our self-understanding, our society and the goals of (bio-)medicine. The goal of the project is to reach a deeper understanding of the ethical and philosophical issues of the use of emerging technologies beyond the purpose of therapy. The project will focus on four areas: cognition, mood, physical performance in sport and life-extension. The ethical research will be based on in-depth scientific understanding of the new technologies, supplied by leading experts in the field of neurosciences, biology and bio-gerontology. The project will have as objectives: 1.To document current and imminent scientific advances that may enhance human capacities in cognition, mood, physical performance (in sport) and ageing. 2. To evaluate these advances from a philosophical, ethical and social perspective. 3.To facilitate policy-making to the emerging dual-use technologies. 4.To promote public understanding of dual-use technologies and the ethical debate. The project will combine literature search, workshops and a conference to reach the objectives of the project. The results will be communicated by academic publications, popular articles and a website. The project concentrates on one of the topics under of the Work Programme Science and Society 2004, Deepening the understanding of ethical issues: research to enhance human mental and physical capacities, including developments in the neurosciences; questions related to dual-use research; the fusion of human and non-human material, including artificial materials.
Partner Org. (4)
Research fields (1)
Maastricht University,
University of Bristol,
United Kingdom
University of Oxford,
United Kingdom
Vita-Salute San Raffaele University,