The Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU) announces a new conference coming in April 2007, and issues a call for papers [PDF - warning, may load slowly].
“Technological Enhancement of Humans? Perspectives of Researchers From Underrepresented Populations” invites and encourages the submission of proposals for research paper presentations from undergraduate and graduate students who are doing research either: 1) in human enhancement-related STEM fields and are strongly influenced by the perspectives of underrepresented populations in their work; or 2) on societal aspects of converging technologies and human enhancement with specific concerns about underrepresented perspectives.
Here is the definition of STEM (as if we needed another new acronym):
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) have widespread and profound interactions with the broader society, and yet STEM activities draw from a relatively narrow slice of that society. Within the United States, neither practicing STEM professionals nor those making policies or setting agendas for STEM represent the broad diversity of American society.
As new STEM opportunities emerge, they bring with them an opportunity to shape their planning, practice, and outcomes in novel ways. This opportunity now exists with the the potential for human performance enhancement through research in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science.
This research conference, “Technological Enhancement of Humans? Perspectives of Researchers From Underrepresented Populations,” is an attempt to engage in such shaping. By bringing together undergraduate and graduate researchers (and their mentors) from across the country who are contributing perspectives on human enhancement that are not (yet) part of the dominant dialogue, the conference will begin to create a network whose purpose is steering these converging technologies toward more representative and more just outcomes.
It sounds like an interesting conference. The final deadline for electronic submission of completed papers is February 28, 2007. Competitive scholarships [same PDF] are available for student researchers.