Press Release 26th July 2004
Announcing the birth of the UK Transhumanist Association
The UK Transhumanist Association is a new not-for-profit
organisation. Its purpose is to inject transhumanist ideas at all
levels of British society with a programme of educational and
lobbying activities on subjects including stem-cell research,
cloning, biotechnology, nanotechnology and, in general,
technological and scientific policy-making. The UK Transhumanist
Association promotes the rights of individuals and families to
improve and enhance their health, through the application of
technological developments, now and in the future.
Transhumanism: The intellectual and cultural movement that affirms
the possibility and desirability of fundamentally improving the
human condition through applied reason, especially by using
technology to eliminate aging and greatly enhance human
intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.
Technological advances taking place today have the potential to
radically improve the human condition. Regenerative medicine,
genetic intervention, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence
have all moved from the realm of science fiction to the scientific
mainstream. Are we prepared for the cultural implications of these
Some are not. Even worse, some do not want to be.
Across the Atlantic, the right-leaning bio-conservatives have
manoeuvred themselves into a position of influence as shown by their
heavy presence in the President's Council on Bioethics. Meanwhile,
in the UK, the rhetoric of a left-leaning, neo-Luddite movement,
which seems to label all technological advance as threatening, has
convinced a large section of the British public that science is
something to be feared. Yet in the UK, many still dare to be curious
about new technologies and their possibilities. Will we have the
courage to shape our future, to extend the limits of the body, of
the mind, and of what it means to be human? Or will we ban new
technologies because they are "not natural"?
New technologies often create new problems while solving many older
ones. Transhumanists are deeply aware of the need to implement
suitable safeguards to prevent unforeseen disasters. At the same
time, we do not discount the tragedy of potential life-saving new
technologies failing to materialize due to fear and mental laziness.
Science and technology do not stand still - nor should they.
Scientific progress not only creates wealth, but increasingly
presents the possibility of improving our own bodies and minds. We
foresee and welcome the feasibility of evolving beyond the
limitations of the human condition and we support the moral right of
those who wish to use technology to extend their mental and physical
capacities, to do so. Our goals cut transversally across the left-
right political spectrum. Our activities in the cultural and
political arenas aim to foster an environment where these rights are
widely accepted and seen as worthwhile.