Reason and Engage is an interdisciplinary course and a series of public lectures and activities organized by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Edition 2017-2018 explores scopes and impact of new technologies. During the public events, experts from different disciplines share findings and opinions on a chosen theme. We bring together academics, researchers, professionals and active citizens to stimulate critical reflection on some of the most urgent and challenging issues of our times. Events take place at various locations in Brussels.
Each year Reason and Engage focuses on one overarching and thought-provoking topic. Advances and challenges in various scientific disciplines and social sectors are explored with respect to this topic.
The third edition of Reason and Engage. Critical Reflections on Humanity and Society explores scopes and impact of new technologies. Will (bio)technology result in a new human species? Is biotech healthcare accessible to all? How to protect our privacy in times of big data? Is it acceptable to patent living organisms and genetic information? What are the social consequences of bionic implants? Is it desirable that machines steer our emotions? What is the impact of increasing robotization upon health care and employment? Will learning machines emancipate us from harsh work conditions or will they increase social inequalities? Are social media and digital networks catalysts of change? How smart are our cities and how neutral are algorithms? Etc.
New technologies get increasingly intertwined with the human body. They do impact various aspects of our daily lives and living together. This raises many ethical, social and scientific questions that need to be debated seriously. Reason and Engage wants to bring together science and society in order to contribute to this debate.