Wolbring, Gregor (2012) Ethical Theories and Discourses through an Ability Expectations and Ableism Lens: The Case of Enhancement and Global Regulation in Asian Bioethics Review Volume 4, Issue 4,pp. 293-309 | DOI: 10.1353/asb.2012.0033
Archive for the ‘Ableism’ Category
Ethical Theories and Discourses through an Ability Expectations and Ableism Lens: The Case of Enhancement and Global RegulationIn Ableism, Enhancement on January 13, 2013 at 12:15 am
Nanoscale Science and Technology and People with Disabilities in Asia: An Ability Expectation AnalysisIn Ableism, Disabled People on August 4, 2012 at 12:35 am
NanoEthics, Online First™, 31 July 2012
open access at
In the Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Society I have 10 contributions: Zinc Oxide (ZnO); Nanoparticle Occupational Safety and Health Consortium; Nano Hazard Symbol Contest; Ableism; Cancer treatment Nano-enabled; Design and Construction; Disability and Nanoscience; Nano-photovoltaic; Access; International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) ;
SAGE Reference’s pioneering new, two-volume Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Society is the first available reference work to cover the ethical, legal, policy, social, cultural, economic, and business issues raised by the science and technology. Highly accessible, expertly written A-to-Z entries describe nanoscience’s technical achievements, history, and prospects.
This is a movie trailer. Once I know more on the movie I will post it here.
Title: Nanoscale science and technology and social cohesion
Author: Gregor Wolbring Email author(s)
Address: Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Health Science, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, T2N 4N1, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Journal: International Journal of Nanotechnology 2010 – Vol. 7, No.2/3 pp. 155 – 172
Abstract: Nanoscale sciences and technologies are developing at a rapid pace enabling other science and technology fields and generating new products and processes. Nanoscale and other science and technology products and processes can impact positively or negatively various aspects of social cohesion such as belonging, shared values, identity, feelings of commitment, equal opportunities, participation in society and social life and the respect and tolerance for diversity directly or through impacting other parameters such as food, health and economic security. One area hardly covered yet is the impact of ableism and its transhumanised form on different areas of social cohesion and the role of nanoscale and other sciences and technologies. The coverage of social cohesion within nanoscale science and technology discourses and vice versa and the linkage to ableism is one aspects of this paper. The paper suggests a way forward for the nanoscale, the ableism and the social cohesion discourses.
Keywords: nanotechnology; nanoscale; science and technology; social cohesion; human security; social well-being; ableism; human enhancement; ability studies; disability; transhumanisation; nanoscience.
As Canada prepares to host the world’s best, Vancouver 2010, The Globe and Mail, and the University of British Columbia in collaboration with universities across Canada, are partnering on a unique project inviting the public to flex their intellect via podcasts by some of the country’s best minds on topics related to the 2010 Winter Games.
My podcast is live
Who will be the future Olympic and Paralympic athlete? The impact of advances in science and technology and bodily assistive devices on Sport.
The transcript of the podcast is situated here
What next for the human species? Human performance enhancement, ableism
and pluralism p. 141-163 in Development Dialogue No 52 August 2009 called What Next Vol II The case for pluralism publisher Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation
Int J of Disability, Community and Rehabilitation Special Issue on Nanotechnology, Disability, Community and RehabilitationIn Ableism, Disabled People, nano, Nanoscale on March 25, 2009 at 12:37 am
New in the Int J of Disability, Community and Rehabilitation (IJDCR)
An IJDCR Special Issue on Nanotechnology, Disability, Community and Rehabilitation edited by Gregor Wolbring,
Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Program, Dept of Community
Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Canada
Editor’s Introduction to the Special Issue, by Gregor Wolbring
If Nanotechnology Were a Magic Wand What Obligations Would it Bring? Or:
The Right to Enhance Versus the Right to Morphological Freedom, by Heather
Optimization of Human Capacities and the Representation of the Nanoscale
Body, by Michele Robitaille
Nanotechnology: Changing the Disability Paradigm, by Laura Cabrera
The journal welcomes submissions on a continuous basis that focus on nanoscale and nanoscale-enabled science and technology as it impacts on disabled people and the broader community and the role of rehabilitation professionals, family members and others.
If there are undergraduates or early postgraduate who have suitable stuff you should apply. I can be the Preceptor if you need one.
History of Medicine Days (HMD)
The History of Medicine Days are an annual two-day Nation-wide conference held at the University of Calgary in which undergraduate students from across Canada give 10-minute presentations on the history of medicine. The topic is broadly understood such as to include areas from Classic Studies, the History of Public Health, Nursing, Veterinary Medicine, Human Biology, Neuroscience, etc. Prizes are awarded and there are associated receptions and an awards banquet.
Each student is matched with a faculty preceptor who provides guidance for the preparation of the History of Medicine Days presentation and acts as a discussant and mentor for the student.
It is assumed and required that every student presentation provides some, even slight, original research attempt, new methodological perspective on the topic, and/or visibly critical discussion following from each presenter’s engagement with his or her topic. It is certainly possible and encouraged that 2-4 students present work on a related topic which may be included in panel form. An adequate critical discussant will then be identified by the conference organizers to comment on such related papers.
The History of Medicine Days Conference (HMDs) is held on a Friday/Saturday March 6 and Saturday, March 7
It has a keynote speaker
The Keynote Speaker, Professor Garland Allan (WUSL) will be co-sponsored by the Darwin Lecture Series, the History Department, and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. This exciting talk on eugenics, genetics and evolutionary medicine will be delivered on Friday, March 6, 2009 at 12:00 noon followed by an in-depth discussion. Please stay tuned for further details.
ONCE International Research and Development Award in New Technologies for the Blind and Visually ImpairedIn 8419510, Ableism, Disabled People on October 6, 2008 at 9:18 pm
ONCE International Research and Development Award in New Technologies for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The aim of the International R&D Award in New Technologies for the Blind and Visually Impaired, held bi-annually by the ONCE (Spanish National Organisation for the Blind), is to distinguish and recompense those researches whose development, use or application represent a clear improvement in the quality of life, equality of opportunities or the process of social and working integration of the blind and visually impaired.
Through this Award, ONCE seeks to stimulate the promotion of scientific technical research aimed at technological developments and innovations in the field of engineering, artificial intelligence, computing, telecommunications, microtechnology and nanoelectronics, with the ultimate purpose of correcting or overcoming the limitations suffered by the blind or the visually impaired on account of their disability.
Call for papers: On the impact of nanoscale science and technology on disability, community and rehabilitation.In Ableism, Call For Papers, nano, Nanoscale, NBICS on September 29, 2008 at 1:41 pm
Call for papers
On the impact of nanoscale science and technology on disability,
community and rehabilitation.
For a special issue of the International Journal on Disability, Community & Rehabilitation (IJDCR) (http://www.ijdcr.ca/copyright.shtml)
Guest Editor: Gregor Wolbring, Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Program, Dept of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary.
Nanoscale science and technology, while still in its infancy, describes a rapidly growing sphere of enquiry, with many and varied implications for the disability field. To establish a ‘benchmark’ of the current state of knowledge and conceptual understanding, the Editors of IJDCR decided a special issue should be devoted to the topic. Background information and potential topics are presented below.
We invite potential contributors, regardless of fields of study (discipline), to submit 250-word Abstracts that articulate the conceptual arguments and knowledge base to be covered in a critical analysis on some aspect of the impact of nanoscale science and technology on disability, community and/or rehabilitation. Please submit abstracts to the Guest Editor via e-mail by 30 October, 2008.
From selected abstracts, we will request full articles of 3000-5000 words (excluding figures and tables) of original research and scholarship on a range of topics. Note that an invitation to submit an article does not guarantee its publication. Every submitted article will be subject to blind peer review and recommendations arising.
Nanotechnology in all its meanings allows for, among other things, the manipulation of materials on an atomic or molecular scale and enables a new paradigm of science and technology that sees different technologies converging at the nanoscale namely:
1. nanoscience and nanotechnology,
2. biotechnology and biomedicine, including genetic engineering,
3. information technology, including advanced computing and communications,
4. cognitive science (neuro-engineering),
5. synthetic biology;
hence, the designation “NBICS” (nano-bio-info-cogno-synbio).
Many lists of anticipated nanoproducts exist (Institute of Nanotechnology 2005;Kostoff et al. 2006). Applications for NBICS products are envisioned in areas such as the environment, energy, water, weapons and other military applications, globalization, agriculture, and health (e.g., more efficient diagnostics and genetic testing, cognitive enhancement; life extension and enhancing human performance in general) (M.Roco 2003). Many believe that advances in NBICS hold the key for extreme life extension to the level of immortality and the achievement of morphological (Anders Sandberg 2001) and genomic freedom(Wolbring 2003). NBICS-medicine is envisioned by some to have the answer to global problems of disease and ill medical and social health. Others argue for the pursuit of ‘morphological freedom’ (Anders Sandberg 2001)–allowing the human body to move beyond typical functioning of the species. Disabled people are often highlighted as the beneficiaries of NBICS-medicine products. NBICS applications and the selling of NBICS health products focuses mostly on offering disabled people medical solutions (prevention or cure/normative adaptation) and might move towards transhumanist solutions (augmentation, enhancement of the human body) but rarely offers social solutions (adaptation of the environment, acceptance, societal cures of equal rights and respect). Many NBICS applications/products for disabled people are envisioned and are under development(Wolbring 2005).
We chose this topic for an issue of IJDCR because of how the discourses around these new and emerging nanoscale science and technologies are emerging and their potential impact on people with disabilities, the communities linked to them and/or practitioners as well as others. Consumers and researchers linked to the disability discourse are involved will shape the positive or negative consequences for everyone involved.
Nanotechnology and NBICS have an impact on disabled people in at least four main ways.
Impact of NBICS on disabled people (Wolbring 2006)
NBICS may develop tools to adapt the environment in which disabled people live and to give disabled people tools that would allow them to deal with environmental challenges. This side of S&T would make the life of disabled people more liveable without changing the identity and biological reality of the disabled person
NBICS may develop tools that would diagnose the part of disabled people’s biological reality seen by others as deficient, defect, impaired and ‘disabled’ thus allowing for preventative measures
NBICS may develop tools that would eliminate that portion of disabled people’s biological reality seen by others as deficient, defect, impaired and ‘disabled’.
NBICS may be a target for – and an influence upon – the discourses, concepts, trends and areas of action that impact disabled persons.
* The discourse around the term human security
* The religious discourse
* The politics of biodiversity
* The politics of inequity
* The politics of the ethics discourse.
* The politics of law:
* The politics of raising the acceptance level for a given technology
* The politics of setting goals and priorities
* The politics of language
* The politics of self perception and identity (Body politics)
* The politics of red herrings
* The politics of interpreting International treaties
* The politics of governance
* The Politics of evaluation, measuring, analysis, and outcome tools
* Self identity security
* Ability security
* Cultural identity/diversity
* Morphological freedom and morphological judgement(Anders Sandberg 2001)
* Freedom of choice and tyranny of choice
* Duty to fix oneself
* Duty to know
* Parental responsibility
* Societal responsibility
* Change in the concepts of health, disease and ‘disability’/’impairment’
* The appearance of enhancement medicine and the acceptance of beyond species-typical functioning
* Moving from curative to enhancement medicine; decrease in curative medicine and the appearance of the transhumanist/enhancement burden of disease
* Moving from human rights to sentient rights
* Moving from morphological freedom to morphological judgement
* The appearance of the techno poor disabled and impaired
* Moving from freedom of choice to tyranny of choice judgement
Areas of Action:
* Nanotechnology/NBIC for development
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and the UN Millennium Development Goals
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and global medical and social health
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and accessibility
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and law
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and water and sanitation
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and disaster management
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and weapons/war
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and ethics/philosophy
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and social science/anthropology
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and community
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and networking
All of the above discourses, concepts, trends and areas of actions impact on disabled people and others.
Potential contributors to this Special Issue might consider areas from the above table or one of the following topics:
1. What are the potential positive and negative impacts of envisioned nanoscale science and technology products and research and development on:
* disabled people,
* the community around them
* practitioners, consumers and researchers linked to the disability discourse
* community rehabilitation and the rehabilitation field in general
* inclusive education and the education of disabled people in general
* employability of disabled people
* citizenship of disabled people
* body image of disabled people
* medical and social health policies and their impact on disabled people
* health care for disabled people
* the elderly
* disabled people in low income countries
* laws related to disabled people such as the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities
* the concept of personhood
* concept of health and health care
* the measure of disability adjusted life years and other measurements used to guide health care dollar allocation
* quality of life assessment
2. What are the potential positive and negative impacts of the new social philosophy of transhumanism that is seen as being enabled by nanoscale science and technology products and research and development?
3. What impacts of potential nanoscale science and technology products and research and development onto disabled people will impact other marginalized groups?
For more information about the International Journal of Disability, Community & Rehabilitation (IJDCR) please go to http://www.ijdcr.ca.
Anders Sandberg. Morphological Freedom — Why We not just Want it, but Need it. 2001.
Institute of Nanotechnology (2005). Research Applications And Markets In Nanotechnology In Europe 2005
Kostoff, Ronald et al. “The seminal literature of nanotechnology research.” Journal of Nanoparticle Research (2006): 1-21.
M.Roco, W. Bainbridge eds. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science. 2003. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht Hardbound.
Wolbring, G. “SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND THE TRIPLE D (DISEASE, DISABILITY, DEFECT).” Ed. William Sims Bainbridge Mihail C.Roco National. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 2003. 232-43
Wolbring, G (2005). HTA Initiative #23 The triangle of enhancement medicine, disabled people, and the concept of health: a new challenge for HTA, health research, and health policy Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Health Technology Assessment Unit, Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Wolbring, G (2006). Scoping paper on Nanotechnology and disabled people. Center for Nanotechnology in Society Arizona State University [On-line].
 The term ‘disabled people’, as used here, reflects the way in which environmental factors impact on the ability of individuals with sensory, motor, cognitive or other variations to participate in society, consistent with its usage by Disabled Peoples’ International.
# Nick Bostrom says technology will let humans manipulate their own biology
# Ray Kurzweil predicts humans will be mostly non-biological by around 2030
# Biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics could merge mankind with machines
Its about a swimmer with cerebral palsy and developmental differences. An excerpt
“Mr. Kendall Bailey, an athlete who is a citizen of the USA and eligible to represent the USA in international competition, is inappropriately classified to compete in International Paralympic Committee (IPC) swimming competition. Mr. Bailey is intellectually disabled. The intellectual disability classification for swimming (S14) is not presently recognized by the IPC; nor is an intellectually disabled swimmer eligible to compete under the IPC Swimming Functional Classification System.”
By Dave Gram, Associated Press
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. – After bone cancer forced the amputation of her
right leg below the knee, Eileen Casey got even more bad news: Her
insurer told her that she had spent her $10,000 lifetime coverage limit
on her temporary limb and that the company wouldn’t pay for a permanent
Question: One the one hand society promotes a body image and a social environment that seems to make legs essential 9most places are still not set up for non leg modes of movements)and on the other hand they are not willing to enable one to have the legs.
Technorati Tags: legs, prosthetics, insurance, payment, ableism, disablement,
“Sport and Ability”
April 22, 2008
Recognizing the breadth of human rights and fundamental freedoms, a core part of which is the
right of persons with disabilities to sport and recreation, delegates from around the world met at
the 2008 Shafallah Center Forum to open a dialogue on sport and ability;
Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that all human beings are
born free and equal in dignity and rights, and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and
freedoms set forth in the Declaration without distinction of any kind;
Reaffirming the principles of equality for persons with disabilities in sport and recreation
embodied in the World Program of Action Concerning Disabled Persons and the UN Standard
Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities;
Observing the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human
Recognizing the role of sport and recreation in society in fostering social inclusion;
Acknowledging the valued existing and potential athletic contributions made by persons with
disabilities to the overall well-being and diversity of their communities and that the promotion of
the full enjoyment by persons with disabilities in sport will result in their enhanced sense of
belonging and in significant advances in the human, social and economic development of
Realizing the potential of sport to empower persons with disabilities to realize their full
participation in the economic and political life of their community;
Considering the discrimination experienced by persons with disabilities in enjoying their human
rights and fundamental freedoms and barriers that exist in accessing sport and recreation;
Recognizing the double discrimination experienced by women and girls with disabilities in
accessing their right to participate in sport and recreation;
Reaffirming the need to ensure that children with disabilities have equal access with other
children to participate in play, recreation, leisure and sporting activities, including in the school
system, community spaces, playgrounds and recreation areas;
Observing the need to combat stereotypes, prejudices and harmful practices that hinder the
participation of persons with disabilities in sport and recreation, and the need to promote
awareness of the capabilities and contributions of persons with disabilities as participants,
competitors and spectators in sport and recreation;
Understanding the importance of access to a choice of disability-specific or mainstream options
for persons with disabilities to explore their sport and recreation potential;
Encouraging the participation of persons with disabilities in sport and recreation activities at all
Observing the need to facilitate and support capacity-building, including through the exchange
and sharing of information, experiences, training programs and best practices;
Encouraging the facilitation of cooperation in research and access to scientific and technical
knowledge of developing adaptive sport and recreation at all levels;
Recognizing the important role of international cooperation in supporting national and local
efforts to ensure that sport and recreation is inclusive of, and accessible to, persons with
disabilities, including inclusive development programs;
Desiring to implement the principles embodied in the International Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities and to secure the earliest adoption of practical measures to enable
persons with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with others in sport and recreation;
Observing that Shafallah delegates demonstrated leadership in advancing sport as inclusion
through exploring new and creative avenues for persons with disabilities to enjoy and exercise
their right to sport.
The Shafallah Center Forum encourages the strengthening of the dialogue among and between
individuals and organizations involved in disability, sport, and human rights to advance the
human rights of persons with disabilities in sport and recreation. The Forum further recognizes
the importance of education and awareness-raising to promote inclusive practices across cultures,
communities and society.
What Sorts of Nano research: A code of conduct for responsible nanosciences and nanotechnologies researchIn Ableism, Bionic, Disabled People, Enhancement, Governance, nano, Nanoscale on May 30, 2008 at 12:32 am
4.1.16 N&N research organisations should not undertake research aiming for non-therapeutic enhancement of human beings leading to addiction or solely for the illicit enhancement of the performance of the human body.
THis suggests that every other enhancement research is allowed like ‘therapeutic’ (who decides what is therapeutic), and non therapeutic work that is not used for doping purposes or leads to addictions.. Additions are mostly drug related at first glance but may be one say that one can become addicted to ones enhancements like emotionally addicted.
In general the section seem to give the go ahead for most enhancement work