This book explores Technological Human Enhancement Advocacy through ethnographically inspired participant observation across a range of sites. James Michael MacFarlane argues that such advocacy is characterized by 'Techno-centrism,' a belief grounded in today's world while being also future-oriented and drawn from the imagination. This blurring of 'real' and 'imagined' futures borrows from the materialist grounding of the scientific worldview, while granting extended license to visions for technology as an enabler of forward-facing action, which include reviving humanist ideals associated with the modernization project. While Techno-centrism is arguably most pronounced in transhumanism-where it is acted-out in extreme, almost hyperbolic ways-it reflects more generally held, deep-seeded concerns around the future of science, technology and human self-identity in the new millennium. Far from being new, these emerging social forms capture unresolved ambivalences which have long cast a shadow over late-modern society and culture.
James Michael MacFarlane received his PhD from the University of Warwick. His work focuses on the dissemination of expert/technical knowledge to non-expert audiences, public engagement and involvement with science, and the strengthening of science-public relations through enhanced communication and dialogue.
1. The Trans-Human Condition: Science Slightly Over the Edge?2. Moving Beyond Humanism: A Review of Literature3. Methods and Methodology4. Constituents5. Mobilisations6. Politics7. Existence8. The Techno-centred Imagination