YQI/Franke Program Nontechnical public talk - Philip Ball - The Heretical Idea of Making People Artificially

Event time: 
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm
Luce Hall Auditorium See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

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The Heretical Idea of Making People - History of the creation of artificial people

Join us for the 6th talk of Yale Quantum Institute series of nontechnical talks aiming to bring a new regard to quantum physics and STEM by having experts cast new light on often-overlooked aspects of scientific work. For this event, we are welcoming science writer Philip Ball to discuss the human obsession of creating life artificially.

Can we make a human being? That question has been asked for many centuries, and has produced recipes ranging from the homunculus of the medieval alchemists and the clay golem of Jewish legend to the cadaverous mosaic of Frankenstein’s monster and the mass-produced test-tube babies of Brave New World’s Hatcheries. All of these efforts to create artificial people are more or less fanciful, but they have taken deep root in Western culture. They all express fears about the allegedly treacherous, Faustian nature of technology, and they all question whether any artificially created person can be truly human. Legends of people-making are tainted by suspicions of impiety and hubris, and they are regarded as the ultimately ‘unnatural’ act, offering a revealing glimpse of changing attitudes to the relationship between nature and human art. Philip Ball will discuss what has changed, and what has not, from the legends of Daedalus and Prometheus through to the stem-cell and assisted reproductive technologies of today.

Talk open to all and will be accessible to students, researchers, the wider university public and the New Haven Community.

This event is co-sponsored by The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities and The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism

Get your free ticket here