SRHRL Past Projects: Human Enhancement

Human enhancement is the concept of applying science and technologies to expand cognitive and physical human capacities. Technologies for human enhancement that promise smarter children, faster and stronger athletes, more attractive physical features, and improved sexual performance are highly seductive. Today, we are bombarded by messages that reinforce the notion that enhancements via drugs, dietary supplements, and cosmetic surgery are readily accessible for personal self-improvement.

For many, enhancements promised by new and more powerful technologies will be seen as a logical extension of what is commonplace today, and it will be increasingly difficult to draw a clear line between their uses for therapeutic purposes and their use for enhancement.

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[2010] Gene Doping

Days before the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, AAAS staff co-authored a Policy Forum in Science titled, “Gene Doping and Sport.” 2010 News Article | Article Summary | PDF| Full Text

[2007-2008] Human Enhancement in Sports

AAAS, along with the Hastings Center, co-sponsored a briefing on Capital Hill, informing policy makers and the public about the realities and dangers of gene-doping. AAAS has also co-sponsored a symposium with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on the issue and produced the St. Petersburg Declaration on Gene Doping subsequent to the meeting.

[2007] The Power, Promise, and Risks of Science and Technology

Human enhancement research and technologies offer many unprecedented opportunities and just as many unforeseen challenges to society’s view of human performance. To identify those opportunities and challenges, the AAAS Program on Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law convened a workshop in June 2006 involving scientists, ethicists, industry representatives, legal scholars, and policy analysts.

[2000] Forum on Human Germline Interventions

The Forum on Human Germline Interventions, organized by AAAS, convened a multi-disciplinary group of scientists, ethicists, and theologians to participate in discussions regarding scientific freedom and responsibility issues; the history and status of religious involvement; ethical and theological issues; therapeutic vs. enhancement applications; and setting policy and developing guidelines on human germline research and applications.

[2000] Human Inheritable Genetic Modifications

Rapid breakthroughs in genetic research, advances in molecular biology, and new reproductive technologies are enhancing our understanding of and responses to genetically inherited diseases. Among those advances is the possibility of modifying human genes that can be transmitted to future generations.