by Baroness Susan Greenfield
5 May 2004 at 7pm
in the University
Admission is free by
Henderson, Registrar's Office,
4 W 3.4B, University of Bath, BA2 7AY. 01225 383400.
(Postal requests should be accompanied by an SAE).
Is human nature about to change
forever? Can we envisage a world where everything we take for granted
about ourselves - imagination, free will, love, learning, memory,
desire - becomes obsolete?
At the beginning of the 21st Century, we are standing
on the brink of a mind makeover more cataclysmic than anything in
our history. The science and technology that are already at the
heart of our lives will soon come to transform not just the way
we live, but the way we think and feel. And as we learn to appreciate
the dynamism and sensitivity of our brain circuitry, the prospect
of directly tampering with the very essence of our individuality
becomes increasingly likely.
This lecture will offer the prospect of a world
free of pain and disease, where we can manipulate our bodies with
machinery, our moods with 'smart drugs' and our innate nature with
gene therapy, - where what we eat, our relationships, jobs, even
the way we fight wars, - will be transformed by technology. Meanwhile,
'home' might become a blur of artificial images, sounds, textures
and smells, oblivious to any other reality. In this virtual realm
of 'dreams and shadows', the notion of our individual self may,
in fact, be obliterated entirely.
prestigious lecture series is named
after Dr Gerald Walters, who was the first Reader in the
Humanities at the University and established a reputation
for himself for both his scholarship and political achievements.
He is credited with bringing recognition across the University of
the value of understanding the nature of society in a largely
scientific and technological institution. After his sudden death
at an early age in 1970, the University established the Gerald
Walters Memorial Lecture as the first public lecture series
following the granting of the University's charter in 1966
and its arrival to Bath.
Walters Memorial lecture 2003 - Dr Mo Mowlam
Walters Memorial lecture 2002 - Sir Harry Kroto FRS
Walters Memorial lecture 2001 - Martin Bell
For more information, please contact
Henderson on 01225 383400