Oxford bioethicist to deliver lecture

The way people think and behave has shifted considerably since the days when life was circumscribed by religious belief, according to Professor Julian Savulescu, Director of the Institute for Science and Ethics at Oxford University, UK.

Bioethicist Julian Savulescu, Oxford UniversityThis change has introduced a rising interest in personal growth and self-improvement as people seek to enhance their behaviour in order to achieve the best results for themselves.

Professor Savulescu will explore the controversial question of genetic enhancement in the face of rapid social change at the 2013 annual lecture by La Trobe University’s Centre for Dialogue in association with St Michael’s Church, Collins Street.

For Professor Savulescu, there is a major imperative to take genetic enhancement seriously. ‘If we do not, we face extinction,’ he says.

Over the last decade, human enhancement has become a major topic of debate. Interest has been stimulated by advances in the biomedical sciences, advances which to many suggest that it will become increasingly feasible to use medicine and technology to reshape, manipulate, and enhance many aspects of human biology even in healthy individuals.

His perspective is that research into the genetics of improving IQ, behaviour, character and morality is important.

‘There are immense benefits, not only for individuals, but also for society as a whole for it is only by knowing that we can prevent the abuses of knowledge,’ he says.

‘The question is what are the major ethical issues to be faced to lift the possibilities of a longer survival?’

Opening and closing remarks at the public lecture Enhancing human behaviour: ethical and social implications will be made by Dr Francis Mcnab AM, from St Michael’s and Professor Alberto Gomes, Director, Centre for Dialogue at La Trobe University.

Event details

Date: Thursday, 19 September 2013
Time: 7 – 9pm
Venue: St Michael’s Church, 120 Collins Street, Melbourne
Details: Free but registrations are essential.

Public enquiries

Centre for Dialogue
T +61 3 9479 1893 | E dialogue@latrobe.edu.au

Media enquiries

Penny Underwood
T + 61 3 9818 8540