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Thought Experiments

on the Question of Being Human:

 

Prosthetics and Neural Enhancements


a festival of original plays, created by scientist/playwright teams, examining the question

of what it means to be human in light of current developments in science and technology


For 2014 we invited five researchers from the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the University of Washington and teamed each scientist with a local Seattle playwright. Their collaborations have led to the creation of five intriguing short plays, each asking the question: “How might current and possible future innovations in the fields of prosthetics and neural enhancements change what it means to be human?


Each evening included staged readings of the plays, followed by a scientist-led conversation, where the audience explored the questions and issues raised by the plays about the impact that prosthetics and neural enhancements may have on their lives.


The Thought Experiments scientists for 2014 were Eberhard Fetz, Adrienne Fairhall, Lise Johnson, Chet Moritz and Howard Chizeck.


The playwrights were Rachel Atkins, Rose Cano, Vince Delaney, Elizabeth Heffron and Roger Tang.


The Plays:

“Closed Loop” by Rose Cano; directed by Nikki Mejia

“Brain Trust” by Rachel Atkins; directed by Dan Morris

“Calibration” by Elizabeth Heffron; directed by Paul Budraitis

“Truth and Lies” by Roger Tang; directed by Sara Porkalob

“Corner Window” by Vincent Delaney; directed by Agastya Kohli


The plays were presented as staged readings. Each evening, the plays were followed by a scientist-led conversation, where the audience explored the questions and issues raised by the plays about the impact that prosthetics and neural enhancements may have on their lives.


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