Humans have been enhancing themselves throughout human history and have succeeded in living more comfortable and longer lives than their predecessors. But rapidly developing scientific, medical and biotechnological advances are steadily increasing the constellation of abilities and characteristics that may be altered to improve specific abilities, up to and including a person’s genetic constitution.
This session will focus on an emerging kind of performance enhancement, the so-called “mimetic” doping drugs. They are receptor-binding agents, mimicking known and established doping mechanisms, in particular for steroid and protein molecules. The speakers in the session will explain the mechanisms of this kind of doping, and discuss the ethical, social, and legal implications for the world of sports and for society. If enhancement in sport is acceptable, will it be acceptable for other kinds of human enhancement? What does the acceptance (or rejection) of any enhancement say about human identity and social solidarity? Will enhancement make us happier?
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