TPFH Part 4 | 9–29 March: Emerging Technologies and Risks


Part 4 of Technology, Power & the Future of Humanity (online distance course) deals with the emerging technologies and risks.


Ulrich Beck, Living in and coping with world risk society

Pat Mooney: Nanotechnology/New Earth

Jim Thomas: Synthetic Biology/Designing New Life Forms

Anders Sandberg, What kind of humanity should we want to make?

Maggie Little, Introduction to Bioethics: Bioethics & the Human Body

Maggie Little, Introduction to Bioethics: Bioethics & Justice

Otto Cars, The cornerstones of modern medicine are crumbling


Course Goal from Syllabus for Part 3

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:
- analyse different views on the role of technology in society, the relationship between technology and sustainable development, and how individual human beings influence and are influenced by different technologies;
- apply conceptual, analytical and ethical tools to understand the role of technology in individual as well as collective meaning making processes;
- critically review different technologies, the use and development of technology and its consequences from a power perspective, and methods for risk assessment and evaluation of these consequences.


The online seminar for part 4 takes place on March 27th (or a date the same week that you agree upon within your group). Detailed seminar instructions will be posted the week before the seminar.


In course books

Nye, Technology Matters (course book): Expanding Consciousness, or Encapsulation?

Hulme, Can Science Fix Climate Change? (course book), chapters 3 & 4.


Other readings

Galaz, V., D. Galafassi, J. Tallberg, A. Boin, E. Hey, C. Ituarte-Lima, J. Dunagan, P. Olsson, R. Österbergh and F. Westley (2014). Connected Risks, Connected Solutions. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, and the Global Challenges Foundation, Stockholm, chapter 1 (pp. 6-11) and chapter 3 (pp. 15-19)

Fahlqvist & Roeser (2015). Nuclear energy, responsible risk communication and moral emotions: a three level framework. Journal of Risk Research 18 (3)

Boström (2005). A History of Transhumanist Thought. Journal of Evolution and Technology, vol.14 (1), pp. 1-25.

Maynard (2008). Synthetic Biology, Ethics and the Hacker Culture. 2020 Science.

Little (1996). Why a Feminist Approach to Bioethics?  Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 6(1).

Stirling (2013). Why the precautionary principle matters. The Guardian, july 2013.

Fuller (2013). Beyond the precautionary principle. The Guardian, july 2013.

Cascio (2006). The Open Future: The Reversibility Principle, Worldchanging, march 2006.

European Environment Agency (2002). Late lessons from early warnings: the precautionary principle 1896-2000, Introduction (6 pages) and chapter 10 – Asbestos: from 'magic' to malevolent mineral (10 pages).