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Date: February 10, 2004

Lectures on technology's benefits and threats launch new centre

A series of public lectures examining how technology is changing lives for better and worse will launch UVic’s new Pacific Centre for Technology and Culture (PACTAC). Under the leadership of Dr. Arthur Kroker, UVic’s Canada Research Chair in Technology, Culture and Theory, PACTAC researchers will examine the social and political consequences of emergent biotechnologies, Internet culture and the impact of information technology on contemporary culture. The centre will use interdisciplinary research conferences, workshops and annual networked seminars to share and generate knowledge.

Upcoming presentations in the series include:

Feb. 12 at 2:30 p.m.—“The Cultural Politics of Bio-genetics” with Dr. William Leiss, past president of the Royal Society of Canada (1999 to 2001) and an expert in risk communication and public policy at the University of Calgary. Leiss will discuss how technology can create and prevent risk in the field of genetic engineering.

Feb. 16 at 2:30 p.m.—“Re-Reading the War on ‘Terrrorr’: Technology, Culture and Security” with UVic political science sessional lecturers Bradley Bryan, Benjamin Muller, Sara Pash and Geoff Whitehall. In this symposium, moderated by Dr. James Tully (political science), members will discuss the impact of technology on individual rights and freedoms in the context of the war on terror.

March 10 at 4 p.m.—“The Will to Technology and the Culture of Nihilism” with Dr. Arthur Kroker. In this combination presentation and book launch, Kroker will discuss whether technology enhances or diminishes life and contributes to a pervasive sense of societal unease—philosophies proposed by Martin Heidegger and Friedrich Nietzsche. Kroker’s book will be available in hard copy and for multimedia exploration at www.ctheory.net which will also host live streaming of all the above presentations.

All lectures will be held in UVic’s Technology Enterprise Facility, 2300 McKenzie Avenue (at Finnerty Road), room 170. Seating is limited.

Media contacts:
Dr. Arthur Kroker (Political Science) at (250) 472-5285 or kroker@uvic.ca
Patty Pitts (UVic Communications) at (250) 721-7656 or ppitts@uvic.ca

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