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Dr.James Hughes, Friday, 12-23-11 December 23, 2011

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Dr.James Hughes, Friday, 12-23-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1677-BWB-2011-12-23.mp3

Guest:  Dr. James Hughes.  Topics:  We discussed his book, “Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond To The Redesigned Human Of The Future,” human enhancement, public & space policy, long duration spaceflight. The Space Show wishes all of you a very Merry Christmas and holiday season.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright.  The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign.  We welcomed Dr. James Hughes to the program to discuss his new book, “Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond To The Redesigned Human Of The Future.”  Please note that we experienced telephone noise which you will hear as audio noise on this show.  Unfortunately, we could not edit out the phone line background noise.  Our discussion started with a focus on bio and medical ethics and an assessment of an anti-technology, anti-science movement in various segments of society and that impact policy making.  In Citizen Cyborg, Dr. Hughes talks about using human enhancement and other  technologies to push the boundaries of humans to improve the quality of our lives.  Fundamental to being able to do this is overcoming the opposition and this was a significant part of our discussion.  We had several listener emails asking about playing God by pushing these technologies and engaging in the human enhancement technologies.  This took us into a discussion about God, religious and spiritual issues.  I believe you will find this discussion to be most interesting.  At times during our discussion we extrapolated to the space field, particularly human spaceflight.  In our second segment, listener Lonnie asked Dr. Hughes to describe some of the main bioethical issues.  Here, we got into animal research, morality, Apes, Great Apes, and even pets, specifically dogs.  We talked about our eventual settlement on Mars or elsewhere, making modifications for us to live on Mars or another world, and the ethics of making it possible for animals to live on the new world with us.  We talked about medical research, cloning, and human genetic modification, especially for space travel.  One listener asked if humans were cloned and we sent the clone on a deep space mission, was that the same as sending humans.  The answer was yes but you will want to hear the full discussion on this topic.  Later in the segment, Dr. Hughes was asked if human spaceflight could be a leader in developing human enhancement technologies or would it be a beneficiary.  Our guest said beneficiary and pointed to the main issue of needing cheap propulsion for human spaceflight.  Our guest was asked about his term bioLuddites which he uses in his book.  Dr. Hughes provided us with a brief history of Luddism and then we discussed the mix in society that makes up the bioLuddites.  Another listener asked if cosmetic surgery was also human enhancement and we asked Dr. Hughes about his theory as expressed in his book that happiness is an illusion.  Near the end of the program, he mentioned the organization of which he is the Executive Director, The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (www.ieet.org).  This Space Show discussion not only addressed human enhancement technologies for human spaceflight, but also for our society in general.  For those of you interested in the subject, I strongly recommend you read his book, Citizen Cyborg.  Please post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog URL above.

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