United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
21st Century Talks: Can the Human Species Domesticate Itself?

“Can the Human Species Domesticate Itself?” is the theme of the next session of the 21st Century Talks to be held at UNESCO on 30 March (6:30pm to 8:30pm, Room 2). Four personalities of renown will participate: Axel Kahn, Paula Sibilia, Peter Sloterdijk and Jacques Testart.

This session of the Talks will be presided by UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura. It is organized and will be moderated by Jérôme Bindé, Deputy Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences and Director of the Division of Prospective Studies, Philosophy and Human Sciences.

Axel Kahn is Director of the Institut Cochin of Molecular Genetics and Research Director at INSERM (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research), a member of the National Ethics Consultative Committee (France) and President of the European Commission’s Life Sciences High-Level Group. His published works include La médecine du XXIème siècle : des gènes et des hommes (1996), Copies conformes : le clonage en question (1998), Et l’Homme dans tout ça ? (2000) Raisonnable et humain ? (2004) and, most recently, a book published with his brother, Jean-François Kahn, Comme deux frères (2006).

Paula Sibilia, a researcher in the field of anthropology and communications, has been a professor in the Social Sciences Department at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and now teaches at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. She is the author of El hombre postorgánico : Cuerpo, subjectividad y tecnologias digitales (2005, first published in Portuguese in 2002).

Peter Sloterdijk is rector of the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe and professor of philosophy and aesthetics at the University of Vienna. His talk - “Rules for the Human Park” made in 1999 at a conference on Heidegger sparked a lively international debate on the coming “end of humanism” and the coming “self-domestication” of the human species. He hosts a television programme on the German station ZDF called “Philosophische Quartett” (Philosophic Quartet) He is also the author of: Critique of Cynical Thought (1987), Rules for the Human Park (2000), The Domestication of Being (2000), Spheres; vol. I, Bubbles (2002), vol. II and III, Globes and Foam (2005).

Jacques Testart is a biologist and Research Director at INSERM. The scientific father of France’s first test-tube baby, he is the author of numerous essays including : Le Désir du gène (1994), Des grenouilles et des hommes (1995), Pour une éthique planétaire (1997), Des hommes probables : de la procréation aléatoire à la reproduction normative (1999) and Le vivant manipulé (2003).

Source Media Advisory N°2006-21
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Publication Date 22 Mar 2006
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