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What it means to be human in the 21st Century

Monday, 3 December 2018, 6:30 – 8pm

What it means to be human in the 21st Century

What does it mean to be human in the 21st century?  This will be the central question of our latest Behind the Headlines discussion to explore the human experience of today. A broad ranging series of talks traversing the humanities, sciences, arts and social sciences, this event is an unmissable snapshot of human progress; who we are, where we are, and where we’re going.

The Behind the Headlines series is supported by the John Pollard Foundation.

This Behind the Headlines discussion will launch a new flagship public lecture series starting in 2019 in partnership with The Dock, Accenture’s global research & incubation hub in Dublin. ‘What it means to be human in the 21st century’ will convene a cross-disciplinary conversation on how we understand ourselves, the world, and our place within it.

Register here
Genevieve Bell, Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University, Director of the 3A Institute, and Senior Fellow at Intel
Professor Bell is the Director of the 3A Institute, Florence Violet McKenzie Chair, and Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University (ANU), as well as a Vice President and Senior Fellow at Intel. Professor Bell is a cultural anthropologist, best known for her work at the intersection of cultural practice and technology development. Professor Bell currently heads the 3A Institute, co-founded by the ANU and CSIRO's Data61, tasked with building a new applied science around the management of artificial intelligence, data, technology and their impact on humanity.

Mark O’Connell, writer and author of To be a Machine

Mark O’Connell is a journalist, essayist and literary critic from Dublin. He is author of To Be a Machine, a book about Transhumanism and winner of the 2018 Wellcome bookprize. He is books columnist for Slate, a staff writer at The Millions, and a regular contributor to the New Yorker’s Page-Turner blog and the Dublin Review; his work has been published in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review and the Observer.

Lorna Ross, Group Director, Fjord Dublin

Lorna’s design career spans more than 25 years, with stops in the world of fashion, wearable technology and, most recently, health care. She is a futurist at heart, recognised for her ability to anticipate shifts in the social, cultural and economic context for design. She was one of the pioneering researchers to focus on wearable technologies and built a reputation for research activity in this arena.  She later identified the theme of health as an emerging arena for design to thrive. She founded and led the Human Wellbeing Group at the MIT Media Lab. Her vision was to employ human centred design principles to address the biggest challenges facing the healthcare industry in delivering population health outcomes. She subsequently built and led the desing group at Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation from 2009-2017 before returned to her native Ireland to take up the position as the Group Director at Fjord Dublin.

As the Fjord studio in Dublin sits within a global Accenture centre for innovation, The Dock, Lorna has a unique role placing design at the heart of the multi-disciplinary teams working on emerging tech R&D and more specifically the commitment to humanizing of these technologies.

Kevin Mitchell, Professor of Genetics and Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin

Associate Professor in the Smurfit Institute of Genetics in Trinity College Dublin and a member of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. His interests are in understanding the genetic program specifying the wiring of the brain and its relevance to variation in human faculties, especially to psychiatric and neurological disease and to perceptual conditions like synaesthesia. He writes the Wiring the Brain blog ( and is on Twitter @WiringtheBrain. He is the author of INNATE – How the Wiring of Our Brains Shapes Who We Are (Princeton University Press, 2018). 

Campus LocationSynge (Arts Building)
Accessibility: All levels
Room: Edmund Burke Theatre
Research Theme: Digital Humanities, Identities in Transformation, Manuscript, Book and Print Culture
Event Category: Alumni, Arts and Culture, Lectures and Seminars, Library, Public
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: Free (but registration is essential)

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