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Biomedicine in museums

How to exhibit moral change in a museum?

By December 20, 2011No Comments

It’s reasonably easy to imagine how some features of emerging biotechnologies can be turned into museum installations and exhibits. For example, enhancement technologies like nanoprosthetics and tissue engineering can rather easily be imagined as 3D installations.

But other concepts are more difficult to translate from words to space. Like morality, for example. I came to think of this when I read the CfP for the first international conference of the Society for the Ethics and Politics of Emerging Technologies, to be held at Maastricht University, 2-4 July 2012.

The unifying theme for the conference is techno-moral change, especially the influence of emerging technology on morality. For example, the organisers are interested in how our capacity to imagine new moralities may be enhanced by the arts, and they invite artists and art theoreticians to explore how the arts have been addressing techno-moral change in the past, or how they believe art could/should address such issues in the future.

The organisers also say (and this it what made me think about museums) they are interested in contributions on how such moral change chould be taken into account in public debates about emerging technologies.

Medical museums are venues for public debates about emerging medical technologies. But how could we make an exhibit or installation using material culture ressources to address the topic of moral change? Morality seems to me to lack both material and visual qualities.

I’m not thinking of submitting or attending. But if someone else is, send an abstract to before 15 February. Read more here.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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