2013 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association

Dates: April 5, 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

The 2013 conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association will be held on 5 April 2013 from 9:00am to 5:45pm in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the level four conference room of the Salt Lake City Public Library. Speakers will address the themes of Mormonism, Transhumanism and Transfigurism, with particular attention to topics at the intersection of technology, spirituality, science and religion. Previous conferences sponsored by the Mormon Transhumanist Association include the 2012 conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, the 2010 Transhumanism and Spirituality conference, and the2009 Mormonism and Engineering conference. The conference is open to the public.

Keynote Speakers

Aubrey de Grey will speak on “Why it is a sin NOT to strive to develop medicine that eliminates aging”. He is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK and Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging. He has developed a possibly comprehensive plan for the repair of all the accumulating and eventually pathogenic molecular and cellular side-effects of metabolism (“damage”) that constitute mammalian aging, termed Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), which breaks aging down into seven major classes of damage and identifies detailed approaches to addressing each one.

Richard Bushman will speak on “From Humanity to Fulness the Mormon Way”. He retired as Gouverneur Morris Professor of History at Columbia University in 2001, and then came out of retirement in 2008 to accept a position as visiting Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University.  He is the author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling and Co-General Editor of the Joseph Smith Papers.  He chairs the Board of Directors of the Mormon Scholars Foundation which fosters the development of young LDS scholars.  With his wife Claudia Bushman, he is the father of six children and twenty grandchildren. He has been a bishop, stake president, and patriarch and is currently a sealer in the Manhattan Temple.

Special Guest Speakers

Carl Teichrib will speak on “A Christian Critique of Christian Transhumanism”. He is a Canadian-based researcher, writer, and communicator regarding the historic and contemporary worldview shifts taking place, including political and economic globalization, and socio-religious trends. He is the editor of Forcing Change (www.forcingchange.org), a monthly publication dedicated to documenting and analyzing the structures of transformation, and is a frequent guest on radio talk shows. Over the years, his work has been utilized by other researchers, authors, and commentators. Carl’s biases are transparent: he embraces a Christian worldview (evangelical/conservative), is pro-liberty (versus politically imposed equality), pro-individualistic (versus consensus collectivism), and pro-free market (volunteer and consensual exchange).

Peter Wicks will speak on “An Atheist Transhumanist Critique of Religious Transhumanism”. He studied mathematics at Cambridge, England, where he obtained his PhD in 1991. Since then he has worked mainly at the European Commission, where his responsibilities have ranged from environment policy to research on industrial accidents. In 2011 he took unpaid leave from the Commission to explore alternative career opportunities. In recent years he has become fascinated by the potential philosophical implications of emerging technologies, and broadly supports the goals of the transhumanist movement. Though raised as an Anglican Christian, Peter currently regards himself for all practical purposes as an atheist.