What is transhumanism? Transhumanism is a philosophical doctrine that aims to continuously improve humanity. It promotes science and technology but with people at its centre. Ultimately, it aims to free humanity from its biological limitations, overcoming natural evolution to make us more than human. How does transhumanism improve humanity? It does this through the development of technologies that boost health and fight ageing and disease, by replacing lost or defective body parts and by improving the internet, communication technologies and artificial intelligence. Is there a danger that transhumanism could actually make us less human? Becoming less human is not necessarily a negative thing, because it could mean we are less subject to the whims of nature, such as illness or climate extremes. A beautiful sunset is positive, but the black death that struck Europe in the 14th century was not. We want to retain the positive aspects of nature and reduce the negative ones. But could we become cyborgs? This is more the realm of science fiction. But we are already taking steps in that direction. Look at Oscar Pistorius, the sprinter with two prosthetic limbs. He is able to beat able-bodied competitors. Why do you think it is important to have a transhumanist politician? Politics is the motor of society, so to bring the battle forward it is important to have a political dimension. I have opposed Italy’s “Law 40” that places limits on assisted procreation and have been pushing for more nanotechnology in energy and environmental technology. Is transhumanism more allied with left- or right-wing politics? In the UK and the US recently, it has been closer to the left, probably because left-wing themes such as bioethics are important to transhumanists at the moment. But economically, the movement probably leans slightly more to the right. Freedom is very important in transhumanism, leading to a focus on individuals and free enterprise. Is there a conflict with religion? In my opinion, no. Transhumanism does tend to avoid recourse to an external deity and, in fact, most adherents are materialists. But there are also quite a few Hindu and Buddhist transhumanists, and even some Mormons. Isn’t transhumanism, in fact, a religion of science and technology? Yes, in the sense that it could provide ethical principles. The scientific method implies an absolute honesty in producing data and searching for the truth. It could be a model of correctness. A philosopher might argue that a flower is blue rather than red, but science tells you unambiguously what colour it is. Profile Giuseppe Vatinno trained as a physicist at the Sapienza University of Rome in Italy. In July, the centrist Alleanza per l’Italia politician became the world’s first transhumanist to be elected as a member of a parliament (via Meet the world’s first transhumanist politician - opinion - 18 September 2012 - New Scientist)

What is transhumanism? Transhumanism is a philosophical doctrine that aims to continuously improve humanity. It promotes science and technology but with people at its centre. Ultimately, it aims to free humanity from its biological limitations, overcoming natural evolution to make us more than human. How does transhumanism improve humanity? It does this through the development of technologies that boost health and fight ageing and disease, by replacing lost or defective body parts and by improving the internet, communication technologies and artificial intelligence. Is there a danger that transhumanism could actually make us less human? Becoming less human is not necessarily a negative thing, because it could mean we are less subject to the whims of nature, such as illness or climate extremes. A beautiful sunset is positive, but the black death that struck Europe in the 14th century was not. We want to retain the positive aspects of nature and reduce the negative ones. But could we become cyborgs? This is more the realm of science fiction. But we are already taking steps in that direction. Look at Oscar Pistorius, the sprinter with two prosthetic limbs. He is able to beat able-bodied competitors. Why do you think it is important to have a transhumanist politician? Politics is the motor of society, so to bring the battle forward it is important to have a political dimension. I have opposed Italy’s “Law 40” that places limits on assisted procreation and have been pushing for more nanotechnology in energy and environmental technology. Is transhumanism more allied with left- or right-wing politics? In the UK and the US recently, it has been closer to the left, probably because left-wing themes such as bioethics are important to transhumanists at the moment. But economically, the movement probably leans slightly more to the right. Freedom is very important in transhumanism, leading to a focus on individuals and free enterprise. Is there a conflict with religion? In my opinion, no. Transhumanism does tend to avoid recourse to an external deity and, in fact, most adherents are materialists. But there are also quite a few Hindu and Buddhist transhumanists, and even some Mormons. Isn’t transhumanism, in fact, a religion of science and technology? Yes, in the sense that it could provide ethical principles. The scientific method implies an absolute honesty in producing data and searching for the truth. It could be a model of correctness. A philosopher might argue that a flower is blue rather than red, but science tells you unambiguously what colour it is. Profile Giuseppe Vatinno trained as a physicist at the Sapienza University of Rome in Italy. In July, the centrist Alleanza per l’Italia politician became the world’s first transhumanist to be elected as a member of a parliament (via Meet the world’s first transhumanist politician - opinion - 18 September 2012 - New Scientist)