Technology: Tragedy or Transcendence?

October 27-28, 2023

Technology: Tragedy or Transcendence?

Registration closed

Advances in AI and biotechnology and rekindled fears of nuclear annihilation highlight the arc of our escalating powers over the natural world. Please join Former California Governor Jerry Brown and a distinguished group of scholars, scientists, public policy experts, and storytellers to discuss a range of ideas central to addressing the opportunities and challenges posed by our advancing technologies.

Through genuine depth of dialogue, we will seek to define the dilemma, clarify the human needs and moral imperatives that compel its development, and provide an aspirational vision that can align and empower our technological quest.

Friday October 27, 2023

  • 7:00 PM - Science Fictions: Dreams, Visions, Nightmares
    In this opening session of the Technology: Tragedy or Transcendence symposium, Robert Harrison (Rosina Pierotti Professor in Italian Literature, Stanford University), Alexander Nemerov (Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities, Stanford University), and Micheal Flaherty (filmmaker and founder of Walden Media and Think Again Studios) will provide a rich visual interrogation of the mythologies embedded in film, art, and literature and discuss how they shape human perceptions of technology.

Saturday October 28, 2023

  • 8:00 AM - Registration Desk Opens
  • 9:00 AM - Defining the Dilemma
  • 11:00 AM - Human Nature and the Technological Quest
  • 1:30 PM - Guidance and Governance of Technology
  • 3:30 PM - Technology and the Human Future


  • Terrence Deacon, PhD

    Terrence Deacon, PhD

    Professor, Anthropology

  • William Hurlbut, MD

    William Hurlbut, MD

    Adjunct Professor and Senior Research Scholar

Speakers include

  • Alexander Nemerov

    Alexander Nemerov

    Professor, Arts and Humanities

  • David A. Relman, MD

    David A. Relman, MD

    Professor, Microbiology and Immunology

  • Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

    Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

    Former Governor of California

  • Fred Turner

    Fred Turner

    Professor, Communications

  • J. Benjamin Hurlbut

    J. Benjamin Hurlbut

    Associate Professor, School of Life Sciences

  • Jaron Lanier

    Jaron Lanier

    Interdisciplinary Scientist, Microsoft

  • Jeffrey Schloss

    Jeffrey Schloss

    Distinguished Professor, Biology

  • Micheal Flaherty

    Micheal Flaherty

    Founder, Think Again Studios

  • Robert Harrison

    Robert Harrison

    Professor, French and Italian

  • Ronjon Nag, PhD

    Ronjon Nag, PhD

    Adjunct Professor, Genetics

  • Sheila Jasanoff

    Sheila Jasanoff

    Professor, Science and Technology Studies

  • Timothy Dalrymple, PhD

    Timothy Dalrymple, PhD

    CEO, Christianity Today

Registration closed

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