Artificial Womb Workshop at BioClub Tokyo
August 31st 2017

On August 8, NNN gave a workshop at BioClub Tokyo, a weekly event held at the FabCafé in Shibuya. Hendrik-Jan Grievink, designer and initiator of the Ectogenesis, Artificial Womb, Human Egg project, shared some insights on the future of technologies concerning human reproduction, sexuality and relationships. An interested group of 25 showed up and discussed the desirability (and possible implications) of assisted reproductive technologies, such as the artificial womb.

One of the participants brought a fascinating dilemma up. "Let's suppose that you want to have children, but you are unable to have them yourself, and that you have the opportunity to gestate a child in an artificial womb. Would you choose that possibility over opting for a surrogate mother?". This raised an interesting question: is it more ethical to grow a fetus in an ‘artificial’ environment, or to use (and to a certain extend to exploit) the biological environment of another person’s body? Against expectations, the participants were roughly divided on a fifty-fifty basis, which originated a lively debate. During the workshop, the group confronted with another stimulating topic of discussion: how do we define what makes a ‘human’? A pretty difficult one, this one. What would you say?

Special thanks to BioClub organizers Georg Tremmel and Chiaki Ishizuka for giving us the opportunity to present our research to a new audience.
Would you be interested in hosting a similar event or book an inspiring workshop? Contact us at workshops[at]

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Should men be able to give birth to children?

Lisa Mandemaker: Using an artificial womb could lead to more equality between sexes, but also between different family layouts. If men would be able to give birth to children, it would maybe be easier for male same-sex couples to have a child together.

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