Human Enhancement: Its Biomedical Basis and Societal Impact (Essays on Science, Technology and Public Policy Book 3)

Human Enhancement: Its Biomedical Basis and Societal Impact (Essays on Science, Technology and Public Policy Book 3)







Clinical medicine and its handmaiden, biomedical research, have traditionally been focused on the treatment and alleviation of disease. However, recent advances in research have created multiple new technologies that can also be used to enhance human physical and intellectual capabilities and to increase longevity. These new developments in biomedicine are giving rise to the nascent field of ‘human enhancement’. Glimpses of these potentially revolutionary technologies are appearing in the popular media with increasing frequency, but not in any coordinated manner or in great depth. Thus this essay seeks to provide a broad and scientifically sound account of recent developments in the technologies that power human enhancement. As well, it will attempt to explore some of their broader societal ramifications. One important impact of human enhancement technology will be on the “healthspan’, that is the duration of life that is free of disease and disability. A substantial increase in healthspan, if extended to broad populations, would have enormous consequences for the economy and for the organization of society.




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