Human Enhancement: Making People Better, or Making Better People?
RTE Studios, Dublin. Monday 24th September
We've already dabbled in the area of human enhancement with cosmetic surgery, but should we be allowed to ask for better children, longer memories or even ageless lives? Will human enhancement change what it means to be human? Should future people be stronger and more intelligent? Or will human enhancement just widen the gap between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'?
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Castlebar Library, Co. Mayo. Thursday 27th September
In an age when Governments are doing more and more to fight the threat of terrorism, many would argue that only the guilty have anything to fear when it comes to using DNA databases in criminal investigations. But should everyone's DNA be sampled in order to prevent crime? How long should these DNA samples be kept for and who should have access to them? Are we in danger of sacrificing our civil rights?
Athlone Library & Civic Centre, Co. Westmeath. Friday 5th October
Organ donation is, for most receivers, a gift of life or a better quality of life. Should people be paid to donate their organs? Should Ireland start a live organ donor programme? Should it be opt-out rather than opt-in? Or is Ireland ready for such a system, in light of the organ retention controversies of the last decade?
Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Wednesday, 24th October
If 2006 was the year the world accepted climate change as a problem caused by human activity, is 2007 the year that we have a moral obligation to a move to a more eco-friendly society? Who should be responsible for combating climate change, individuals or the Government? Since we now know that we are to blame for climate change, can it be considered immoral not to act to stop it? Should we be looking to nuclear energy as an alternative to fossil fuels?
Waterford Library, Waterford. Monday, 22nd October
Do terminally ill people have the right to decide how and when they wish to end their lives? Supporters of euthanasia say that they hold individuality, self-determination and autnomy as their highest values. But does euthanasia devalue life? How can we guarantee that euthanasia is voluntary and not enforced?
Ennis Glor Irish Music Centre, Co. Clare. Monday 5th November
Few scientific developments have been both as promising and controversial as stem cell research. Some experts have suggested that stem cell research is the only way to unlock treatments for devastating disorders such as Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's. Others say that destroying embryos for the sake of stem cell research is indefensible. Should embryos be used for research? What is the difference between adult and embryonic stem cell research? And what is the potential of the use of human-animal 'cybrids' that were recently approved by the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority?