• Thu 11.07.19 11 h – 13 h

Free admission

Research Training Group: Life Sciences - Life Writing

With: Madeleine Böckers, Oliver Kuchenbuch, Justus Pötzsch
Moderation: Laura Hille

How do new possibilities for human life that have been enabled by biomedical advances lead to marginal experiences? For example, how do people feel who are alive today thanks to reproductive medicine? The research training group of the Johannes-­Gutenberg-Universität Mainz ›Life Sciences, Life Writing: Bor­derline experiences of human life‹ is situated between biomedical explana­tions and life experience. In short talks, three doctoral candidates offer indi­vidual insights into the focal aspects of their current research.

 

Madeleine Böckers
›Microplastic – What happens in the human body?‹

Humans are continuously filling the ocean with plastic, which over time disintegrates into microscopically small particles. Marine animals ingest this ›microplastic‹. What happens when people consume these animals and thus also the microplastic? Madeleine Böckers offers an insight into the sub­ject drawing on the oestrogen receptor as an example.


Oliver Kuchenbuch
›Epigenetics - Hybridizing Medicine and Optimization?‹

In life sciences a systemic perspective is gaining traction, which is associated with epigenetics, a term referring to the study of processes surrounding contex­tual gene­function in specific cell types. This new molecular biological focus on interactions — including those between the genome and the environment — carries far-reaching anthropological consequences. DNA can no longer be considered to guarantee the exclusive identity of a species. On the level of the individual, relationships between lifestyle and gene regulation call for a discussion about individual narratives of subjectification. Former strictly cultural practices of self­forming may be complemented by a biological layer with implications for future generations, and this necessitates a reassessment
of our everyday capacity to impact biology.


Justus Pötzsch
›The Anthropocene as an Impulse for Resituating the Human: Transhumanism vs. Posthumanism‹

With the declaration of the Anthropo­cene age the question as to the position of humankind on the planet takes on a particular urgency. The dividing lines between humans and the environment, culture and nature, and machine and organism are fundamentally changing. Whereas proponents of transhumanist techno­transcendence view humans as a focal power and advocate a complete optimization of the planet and the body (terraforming, genome editing), posthumanist thought places the hu­man in an equitable relationship to the environment, emphasizing the resilience and agency of non­human microbes, machines and matter.

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