Medical Humanities Discussing Bodily Enhancement
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rainer Brömer, Istanbul University Medical Faculty, Dept. for History of Medicine and Ethics
date: Wednesday, 19 April, 7PM UTC+02
location: Orient-Institut Istanbul, Susam Sok. 16, D. 8, Cihangir-Istanbul
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Enhancement has become a multidisciplinary topic par excellence, being discussed academically by physicians and natural scientists as well as ethicists, social, cultural and political scientists, and literary scholars and many more. What is the most suitable approach for society as a whole to make sense of the promises, chances, and possible threats of ever deeper techno-medical intervention into the human body?
Medical Humanities try to bridge the gap between the natural and human sciences of medicine and the humanity of medical practice. Questions of meaning (culture) and values (ethics) related to biomedical developments can be usefully addressed in this field where the exact, numeric sciences merge with the creative imagination of the arts, reflecting and anticipating potential human experiences in a world that may look fairly different from the conditions the human species has evolved in over the millennia. Maybe a good SciFi can achieve more than some academic textbook?
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rainer Brömer studied biology, philosophy, and history of science in Germany and Italy and has been working in medical humanities in England and in history of medicine and ethics in Germany and Turkey. His research area includes the attitude to the human body in anatomy in the Ottoman Empire, while in the realm of ethics, he has increasingly become interested in the meaning of permanently modifying the biological frame of human beings. As a lapsed biologist, he does not share the enthusiasm of certain philosophers who are postulating for themselves a life expectancy of centuries, though biotechnological change seems inevitable.