The most important aspect for me of this seminar has been the opportunity to intellectually engage with a subject matter that is present and pressing in our world today. The pace of technological change in regards to the impact of human design on both the environment and the human body is astounding. These impacts affect our students as well as the society at large. Given the ubiquity and significance of questions regarding the relationship between humanity and technology, the opportunity to probe a series of questions and problems on this subject has been deeply emotionally stimulating. I’ve learned a significant amount, but at base I would say that the insight I have taken away from the seminar is that it is in human nature to use technology to change ourselves and our world.
The greatest effect of this seminar on my teaching has been an enhanced ability to push my students to investigate what it means to be human. In particular, I have learned that I need to steer each individual student to analyze what he or she thinks constitutes humanity, or the characteristics/traits that are definitive to “human.” This has allowed me to disrupt dualities between the “good” and “bad” effects of technological change, and rather to focus students on seeing the ambiguous ramifications of new technologies.