IntroductionOpen debate follows screening of 'Never let Me Go'
The film Never Let Me Go, starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield, is based on Kazuo Ishiguro's internationally acclaimed novel of the same name. One screening at the Exeter Picturehouse this week was followed by an open discussion, inspired by the film, about the shaping of social ends by technological means.
Dr Christine Hauskeller, deputy director of Egenis, and Dr Oonagh Corrigan of the University of Plymouth and Peninisula College of Medicine, started off the debate on 'Utopia or dystopia? New technologies, medicine and society'. Chair Prof Steve Hughes, co-director of Egenis, invited the audience of around 60 people to contribute their thoughts on the issues raised by Never Let Me Go and to discuss to what extent technology shapes society, rather than the other way around and particularly what he called 'the elephant in the room' - who decides?
Dr Hauskeller talked about the boundaries of what is considered to be human, and Dr Corrigan metioned changes in acceptable consent for organ donation, as well as raising the topic of trafficking in human organs. The debate ranged around these subjects and beyond, taking in the caste system in India and the question of the soul, as well as issues of compliance and complicity.