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University Academic Contributes to CBET Journal

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An academic from St Mary’s University, Twickenham has guest edited the latest edition of The New Bioethics: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Biotechnology and the Body. Matthew James, Research Associate at the Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies (CBET) at St Mary’s, has written editorial for the issue which discusses the theme of new technologies and the human body. The latest edition explores perspectives from contemporary art, theology, philosophy, sociology, healthcare and education in order to help illuminate and enrich our understanding of human embodiment. The journal seeks to reclaim bioethics as a diverse and multidisciplinary project. It provides a space for dialogue between different perspectives on biotechnology and focuses on issues such as cognitive enhancement and those technologies that have allowed human tissue to be taken, stored, manipulated and used for biomedical purposes. One of the major themes in the current conversation surrounding advances in new technologies and the future of humanity concerns the place and value of the human body. Some perceive the human body as becoming redundant and almost disappearing from view. From this particular perspective, enhancement technologies which bring a degree of healing and restoration of normal human functioning should also be embraced in such a way that they take us beyond what is human and provide a means of escape from the confines of the human ‘earth suit’ body which limits, restricts and prohibits evolution. But adopting this perspective fails to appreciate the full nature of humanity which is rooted in an understanding of the constant interaction between mind and body. To understand new technologies we need to take into account the relationship between ourselves and our bodies, ourselves and others, and between the human and non-human environment. The latest edition of the peer review journal The New Bioethics: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Biotechnology and the Body speaks to this significant aspect of the conversation and the enduring value and importance of the human body. Matt, who is also the Managing Editor of The New Bioethics, said, “Increasingly multidisciplinary dialogue is being recognised as a key component of the future of bioethics. There is the need to draw upon all knowledge disciplines in order to form new responses to fresh challenges. Not one silo of expertise has all the answers. “To regard the body as a mere container of our mind, which we can either radically enhance or abandon and upgrade to another medium entirely, causes us to miss the importance of the intimate connection of mind, body and identity. “I don’t believe we’re on the verge of an invasion of the body snatchers. The body is far from dead and buried! But we do need to continue to engage in debate and to respond to those who would try and tell us otherwise.”
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