Towards a design brief for the artificial womb

NextNature.net
July 31st 2018

Humanity is facing the disconnection between biological reproduction and the body, facilitated by the emerging technology of the Artificial Womb. Envisioned in bleak science fiction scenarios many times in the past, this technology is about to become a reality in our present. But how will it affect our culture – and how should that new culture be designed? Join us for a public discussion on September 7th during the REPRODUTOPIA summit at Tech Festival in Copenhagen, and explore with us how we may make babies, experience intimacy and build families in the future.

This summit is a one-day gathering where a diverse group of people comes together to discuss the bigger picture, share insights, and challenge best practices. The day will be hosted by Hendrik-Jan Grievink, designer at Next Nature Network and project lead of REPRODUTOPIA. It would be great to meet some people from the global Next Nature Network in Copenhagen. If you are going, please let us know via womb [at] next nature.net.

Why this is important
On July 5th 1978, the world welcomed Louise Brown, the first human baby ever conceived through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). This year Louise Brown celebrated her 40th birthday.

Today, the technology of IVF has become accepted practice around the world, and has put over 6 million babies into the world, and developments in the reproductive sciences continue: At this point, it has become possible to reprogram human skin-cells into gametes or bring lamb foetuses to term by the use of so-called ‘biobags’, a primitive version of what could be regarded as an artificial womb. Next Nature Network explores how such emerging reproductive technologies may change our conception of pregnancy, gender, relationships and ultimately, our human nature. Join us!

Image: Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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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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