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Project overview :

How is the age of biosciences in the twenty-first century transforming our perspectives of "human beings"? This project engages in new ways of envisioning the technological nature of human existence by challenging the prevalent ideas of bioethics and eugenics. We explore the relationships between technology and human, body and environment, and the hybrid effects of biosociality through multidisciplinary studies.

The official announcement of Osaka University is here.

Public document [PDF in Japanese]

Project title :

The Future of the Human Beings in the Age of Biosciences

Project aim :

Recent developments in biotechnology and life sciences are significantly altering the hitherto taken-for-granted meanings and values of what it is to be a "human being". This project considers the impacts of biosciences from the point of view of philosophy, society, and culture, and explores new imaginations of the human.

Project outline :

Changes in various forms of knowledge and technologies of intervention that have directly impact on human life are posing serious questions for politics, ethics, and social norms. New technologies, such as those involving cyborgs, robots, genetic modification, and other cutting-edge medical practices, are forcing us to rethink the "Human condition", and the values and meanings associated with it. This project, investigates the human in the age of biosciences by providing a platform for multidisciplinary collaborative research. It aims to do so in the following ways:

(1) Integrative research in the humanities and the sciences

This project brings together researchers from the humanities and natural sciences in Osaka University in an attempt to consider the impacts of science and technology as total social phenomena.

(2) Basic research from four approaches

i) Life and human values approach: Investigates the transformation of life and human values due to mediation by technology

ii) Gender and environment approach: Investigates ideas and practices of eugenics, queer studies, cyborgs, environment and ecosystems

iii) Body and technology approach: Investigates the interactions between the effects of techno-science, medicine, economy, media knowledge, education, ethics of care

iv) Theoretical approachy: Investigates theoretical notions of biopower, bioethics, philosophy of life, gerontology, death and life

Project goal :

The goal of this project is to develop a foundation for advanced research in the humanities which problemitizes the relations between human beings, science and technology, through collaboration with leading research institutes inside and outside Japan, and publication of research work via global communication networks.

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