Discourse, upstream public engagement and the governance of human life extension research

Poiesis and Praxis 7 (1-2):135-150 (2009)
Abstract
Important scientific, ethical and sociological debates are emerging over the trans-humanist goal to achieve therapeutic treatments to ‘cure’ the debilitation of age-related illness and extend the healthy life span of individuals through interventive biogerontological research . The scientific and moral discourses surrounding this contentious scientific field are mapped out, followed by a normative argument favouring ‘strong’ deliberative democratic control of human life extension research. This proposal incorporates insights from constructive and participatory technology assessment, upstream public engagement and back-casting analysis; to outline a programme of participatory approaches to encourage two-way dialogue between scientific and citizen perspectives, and foster the long-term deliberative democratic governance of this developing field.
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    N. Bostrom (2005). The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant. Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (5):273-277.

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