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Signature Research Themes

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Future Human

Our team are exploring the use of science and technology for future human development. We are doing this by creating a broad and interdisciplinary understanding of the opportunities, limits, challenges, and risks of using science and technology to overcome the limits of our bodies and restore or improve performance and function.

We also question the legal, political and ethical issues, to ask if this should be done, and if it will be accepted or not.

By working with our network we are exploring what can be achieved for future human. We are using art and creative technologies to talk about:

  • using sensors and tests for breathing problems and cancer
  • designing and decision making
  • dealing with information overload
  • how Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality can be used in palliative and dementia care.

As a result, Future Human can change how we all work, how we stay healthy, and live and experience our everyday lives.

Our themes include

Healthy Human looks at how we can maintain healthy lifestyles and manage clinical conditions.

Our work in this area could help to change and improve:

  • how clinicians communicate with their patients
  • access for populations who are rarely heard
  • new communities for patients
  • ways to join clinical guidance or new treatments with technology.

So, this has far reaching impact, from changing the way we access healthcare, to delaying the negative impact of ageing, and improving access to work for disabled people.

Everyday Human looks at technology that will impact on the everyday lives of people.

This research area has a broad scope that includes:

  • the impact of implant technology to improve how we access the drugs that we need and when we need them.
  • how physical development can change our opinions about attractiveness, or what it means to be human, and how this is represented by media.
  • how the public view of how human enhancement has changed over time and across nations.

Working Human focuses on the future of humans in work in the light of automation.

We are answering difficult questions, as technology takes over human jobs, that will be essential to business, sociology, human resource management, operations research, political science, and economics, among others:

  • what will happen to the people employed in organisations?
  • how will they interact with technology in their jobs?
  • what will happen to the growth of inequality, that is caused by the privileged classes controlling or owning technology, who will also profit from it?

Super Human focuses on understanding what our human limits are, and developing science and technology to extend these.

By  using advances in technology and engineering, we could develop elite performers to create ‘superhumans’. We can do this by pushing boundaries through:

  • non-invasive brain stimulation that could help frontline soldiers to resist fatigue
  • using immersive environments to support the training of surgeons
  • introducing novel techniques to deliver ‘brain training’ for pilots.

These ‘test-bed’ cases are often a basis for technology or approaches which are used in recreation, fashion, health and the workplace.

But, by using broad academic and public input to consider ethics and regulations, it will help us to balance the risks of these technologies creating a divided society.

Contact us if you want to know more about Future Human