Remaking Nature: human futures and the reinvention of nature
Challenging Society Lecture with renowned scholar Sheila Jasanoff
During the final Challenging Society Session for this academic year, with the theme ‘Remaking Nature', renowned scholar Sheila Jasanoff will argue that nature retains power as an ethical and political imaginary.
Wherever we look, nature is intertwined with human artifice. In this period of unbridled human intervention, some see the grand experiment with mother nature, as all but inevitable; even the taboo against editing human lives is losing force. But should there be limits to this Second Creation, and what value if any still attaches to the concept of nature?
About keynote speaker Prof. Sheila Jasanoff
Sheila Jasanoff founded and directs the Program on Science, Technology, and Society at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Her research focuses on science and the state in contemporary democratic societies. Her work is relevant to science & technology studies, comparative politics, law and society, political and legal anthropology, sociology and policy analysis. With her recent publication The Ethics of Invention (W.W. Norton & Company 2016), Jasanoff ranges across several themes, she challenges the common assumption that technology is an apolitical and amoral force. Technology, she masterfully demonstrates, can warp the meaning of democracy and citizenship unless we carefully consider how to direct its power rather than let ourselves be shaped by it. The Ethics of Invention makes a bold argument for a future in which societies work together—in open, democratic dialogue—to debate not only the perils but even more the promises of technology. In her Lecture, many themes she addressed previously in her work will resonate: the relationship between science and policy advise (The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers, 1990), risk management (Learning From Disaster: Risk Management After Bhopal 1994) biotechnology and law (Reframing Rights: Bioconstitutionalism in the Genetic Age2011) en science and public debate (Science and Public Reason2012) and most notably her view on ‘imaginaries’ (Dreamscapes of Modernity 2015). For more info click here.
About UvA Challenger Rector Karen Maex
Prof. ir. Karen Maex has been appointed Rector Magnificus of the University of Amsterdam as from 1 June 2016. Maex is a native of Belgium, where she earned her doctorandus degree in Civil Engineering with a specialisation in microelectronics in 1982. She did her doctoral work as a research assistant at KU Leuven, taking her doctorate in 1987. After obtaining her doctorate in 1987, Karen Maex took an appointment as research director of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) and conducted groundbreaking research into the use of nanotechnology in electronics at the IMEC (Interuniversity Micro-Electronics Centre). As author and co-author of more than 250 publications, Maex has been a significant contributor to work at KU Leuven on material properties in micro and nano structures, in which she has also supervised (and co-supervised) numerous doctoral researchers. Maex has been a member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) since 2008, where she focuses on international viewpoints on education and research.
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