Candidates for the 2006-2008 WTA Board of Directors seats

Nick Bostrom
Riccardo Campa
Justice De Thezier
James Hughes
Jani Moliis

Polls close midnight GMT January 15, 2006

If you are a voting member of the WTA, you can vote here.

Nick Bostrom

My involvement in the transhumanist movement now goes back 10 years. We have come a long way in this time, both internally in terms of development of ideas and organization, and externally in terms of the public becoming more aware of transhumanist memes and possibilities. These developments should accelerate in the coming years. In its next stage, I want to see the WTA mature into an effective grassroots organization that is effective in promoting responsible forms of transhumanism and in helping making good things happen in the world. I believe that the time is now come for us to become more outward-looking in our focus.

Some personal background… I’m one of the founders of the WTA (together with David Pearce, in 1998). I’ve been the Chair of the organization since 2002, and its general-purpose “coordinator” before that. For a time I served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Evolution and Technology. I led the collaborative project that produced the original Transhumanist FAQ and the revised version published in 2003, and I coordinated the writing of the Transhumanist Declaration. I’ve written extensively on wide variety of transhumanist matters. Preprints of many of my papers can be found on my website,

Some more background… I direct the new Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University. I previously taught in the Faculty of Philosophy and in the Institute for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University. My research covers the foundations of probability theory, philosophy of science, global catastrophic risks, and especially the ethical, practical, strategic issues related to human transformation and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and nanotechnology. I’ve published some to 100 papers and articles, including research papers in Nature, Mind, Journal of Philosophy, Bioethics, Journal of Medical Ethics, Astrophysics & Space Science, along with one monograph, Anthropic Bias (Routledge, New York, 2002), and two edited volumes with Oxford University Press (in preparation), one on human enhancement ethics, the other on global catastrophic risks. My writings have been translated into more than 14 languages. I’ve done more than 160 interviews with television, radio, and print media (BBC television, Fox News, The New Yorker, Washington Post, New Scientist, Die Welt, USA Today, etc.).

Riccardo Campa

Background. I am assistant professor of sociology at the University of Cracow, where I teach “sociology of science and technology” and “sociology and psychology of terrorism”. I am the author of Epistemological Dimensions of Robert Merton’s Sociology and Il filosofo è nudo. I received a Ph.D. in Sociology at the Nicholas Copernicus University of Torun (Poland), and two Masters degrees, in Political Sciences and Philosophy, at the University of Bologna (Italy). Before starting my academic career, I served as Lieutenant of the police corp “Guardia di Finanza”, investigating especially organized crime. Afterwards, I worked as a journalist for newspaper “La Voce di Mantova” and newsmagazine “Il Mondo”. In the academic year 2004-2005 I won a fellowship offered by NATO to research about ethical aspects of scientific and technological development. Presently, I write regularly for the journal “MondOperaio“. I am the founder and the president of the Italian Transhumanist Association and a fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. I am also a musician and I have recorded more than fifteen albums as a solo artist and with my bands.

Transhumanist Activism. I have been very active in promoting transhumanism in Italy and Europe. Thanks to my contacts in academia, the press, and the political world, I have been able to make the WTA very popular in my country. Since the foundation of the Italian chapter (more or less one year ago), the main Italian newspapers and magazines has written massively about transhumanism. I was not afraid to take some personal risk by publicly defending transhumanism, especially from the attacks of the Vatican Press and the post-fascist political groups and intellectuals. The attacks were often ad personam. Besides, I have been traveling a lot around Europe, by meeting transhumanist groups in Cracow, Mantua, Rome, and Milan. I think that meeting in the real world is very important. That is why, last November, I organized a conference with James Hughes in Cracow. The meeting was quite successful and about one hundred people attended it.

I believe that my efforts have led to appreciable results also in building a bridge with progressive political forces. For instance, the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) has invited me and other transhumanist militants to deliver a speech in favor of scientific research at the European Parliament. Perhaps, some of you haven’t heard much about me, since I haven’t spent much time on the mailing lists. Our lists are also very important, of course, and I hope to have more time for it in the future.  If I am elected to the WTA Board of Directors, I intend to make many more contributions
promoting transhumanism in the press, academia and the political arena..

Justice De Thézier

Background: I am a social entrepreneur and creative professional, currently pursuing a degree in Science, Technology and Society at the University of Quebec in Montreal, specializing in emerging technologies and public policy. In 2003 I founded the Quebec Transhumanist Association, an autonomous chapter of the WTA in Montreal, Canada. Through the QTA I have worked to create awareness of community perspectives on the right to human enhancement, in the local media, including appearances in print and television. I contribute to Cyborg Democracy, a collaborative blog for democratic transhumanist thinkers and activists.

Vision: I believe the WTA can only become a resonating voice for effective positive change if it has a solid virtual and material foundation to stand on. We must find creative ways to channel the ideas, skills and resources of individual members and organizational allies to build our association into an influential force for technology and democracy.

If I am elected, my goals as a Board member include:

  • improving WTA public relations with French media;
  • developing a WTA ethical fundraising and financial accountability code;
  • working to expand the WTA’s core programs of activity to include more focused and action-oriented programs, with a global campaign for a publicly financed anti-aging research initiative at the top of our concerns.

James Hughes

Background: I’m married, forty-four, and father of two children. I have a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Chicago, and my focus has been bioethics, medical sociology, health policy and organizational sociology. I taught bioethics and health policy in the University of Chicago’s bioethics program in the early 1990s, and currently teach health policy and research methods in the Public Policy Program at Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut USA, where I also work as an administrator.

In 2001 I helped draft and pass the WTA constitution, and create the current WTA structure. As Secretary (2002-) I have managed membership, discussion lists, and the WTA website. I now serve as the Secretary-Treasurer and Executive Director of the World Transhumanist Association and our affiliated Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. I am editor of the IEET’s (formerly WTA’s) Journal of Evolution and Technology. I produce the weekly syndicated public affairs talk show Changesurfer Radio and am author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future. I’ve published many scholarly articles, and appear often in the press - print, radio and television - promoting transhumanist ideas.

I was conference chair of the June 2003 Transvision conference in New Haven, Connecticut, and am currently organizing the IEET’s conference on Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights at Stanford Law School May 26-28, 2006.

Vision: I believe the WTA will play a pivotal role in the biopolitical conflicts to come, and can draw together a broad, diverse and inclusive transhumanist movement. We can be a forum for a vigorous debate of transhumanist ideas, and work for universal access to safe human enhancement technologies.

My agenda for the coming year includes:

  • work with our new Assistant Director, Marcelo Rinesi, and volunteers to create a cutting-edge, interactive website
  • strengthen our global network of chapters, affiliates and contacts, and develop local activist projects that they can undertake
  • work with curator Amy Hale build the online WTA Arts Gallery into a vibrant showcase for transhumanist cultural expression and analysis
  • work with the Finnish Transhumanist Association to bring off a successful Transvision 2006 in August in Helsinki
  • increase transhumanist visibility in bioethics, cultural and political organizations and venues.

Jani Moliis

Like many of us, I believe I was a transhumanist long before ever hearing the term. Having been introduced to it and realizing it stood for much of what I had always believed in, it wasn’t many months afterwards that I became a founding member of the Finnish Transhumanist Association (FTA, established in 2003). Having been a member of its Board and Treasurer ever since, I have been actively involved in promoting transhumanism in Finland. In a short time, the FTA has become one of the best organized local chapters of the WTA, with the largest per capita membership (after San Marino and Andorra). I’m also on the organizing committee of TransVision06 to be held in Helsinki, Finland in August 2006.On the Board of the WTA, I would like to focus on good management. Like any other rapidly growing organization with numerous potential focus areas, WTA has had - and no doubt will continue to have - its share of friction among the membership. It is my explicit goal to ensure that all sources of friction are dealt with in a democratic and transparent way, before they get the opportunity to become conflicts detrimental to our common goals. I’m known to be a calm mediator, who attempts to gain the trust of all sides in a dispute. 

I also see it as important that during a year when the TransVision conference is held in Finland, there should be an organic link between the WTA and FTA Boards, to facilitate our efforts to, once again, hold the best TransVision conference yet. 

It should be obvious that the WTA has great intrinsic strengths in place: a talented and global membership, a philosophy that any rational person finds it difficult to object to, and history on our side. This truly is a battle for us to lose. We will most certainly be making significant strides forward in the next two years. It is our common duty to ensure that we don’t take any steps backwards while advancing. 

Background: I was born in 1980 in Helsinki, Finland. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Webster University as well as a Master of Social Sciences degree in political science from the University of Helsinki. I am married, and for the past two years have spent a great deal of my time working for McKinsey & Co, a global management consultancy.

Posted by jhughes on 2006/01/09 • (0) Comments

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