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Michael Bess

Chancellor's Professor, Department of History
Professor, Department of European Studies
Professor, Department of Communication of Science and Technology
Associate Chair, Department of History

Research Interests: I am a historian of 20th- and 21st-century Europe, with a particular interest in the interactions between social and cultural processes and technological change.  I am keenly interested in the ways humankind may use biotechnological tools to modify human bodies and minds over the coming years, boosting human capacities above their longstanding baseline levels.  These bioenhancement practices – pharmacological, bioelectronic, genetic, and epigenetic – can be seen as a form of human-directed evolution, and they will be heavily influenced by socioeconomic factors and cultural preferences.

Keywords: bioenhancement, human enhancement, neuroethics, bioethics, human identity, genetic engineering, authenticity, technological determinism, theoretical biology, speciation, animal ethics, artificial intelligence, superintelligence, complexity theory, self-organizing systems