Transhumanist organisations

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Transhumanist organisations are many and varied.

Introduction

Transhumanism has many related fields and terms, so much so that few organisations need primarily self identify as such. However when one examines certain key areas, one can see the largest concentrations of transhumanists, self-identified, de facto and otherwise.

Medical research

Biomedical research organisations like SENS and Calico are high profile advocates of life extension. However many more mainstream organisations are pushing back the frontiers of medical research in the field of gerontology, neurology and many more.

Businesses, often those associated with Silicon Valley or the technology sector may embrace futurist ideas of their founders, such as digital immortality in development from Facebook, however such affiliations are usually kept to a low profile.

Cryonics

Cryonics has long had a close relationship both as a part of the transhumanism movement and as its own entity, with many advocates seeing it as a 'Plan B' for life extension and self-preservation.

Life extension advocacy

Life extension advocay organisation is huge growth area, with proponents such as the Coalition for Radical Life Extension bringing together a large group of scientist and supporters behind the cause of radical life extension. Many smaller grass root initiative exist in this space such as the Eternal Life Fan Club and media such as Life Mag.

AI

AI research, a cousin of both transhumanism and futurism is undergoing tremendous growth in interest. MIRI, founded by transhumanist Eliezer Yudkowsky and OpenCog from Ben Goertzel are both highly futurist projects in the AI space, with the conversation, especially around AI risk entering mainstream political debate.

Politics

The surge in transhumanist politics primarily driven by Zoltan Istvan's 2016 presidential campaign has led to the formation of many new transhumanist party organisations, but initiatives such as the longevity party and Evolution 2045.

Online communities and media

Finally, the grass roots transhumanist community has formed many nexuses of discussion, largely on Facebook, but also on other transhumanist discussion forums such as Less Wrong and LongeCity, often mixing a wide variety of techno-optimistic ideas coupled with socialisation and participating in a small amount of activism.

Bloggers, YouTubers and increasingly dedicated transhumanist news resources offer ongoing sources of analysis and commentary.


Offline communities

Offline, transhumanists tend to be associated with the technology sector and some times the arts often with associations with respective online communities.

Biohackers, body modders and nootropic users

Biohacking sometimes known as 'DIY transhumanism' has a growing following through sites like Biohack.me, with its spectrum flowing into traditional body modification. Responsible community led drug research organisations such as the Psychonaut Wiki and Erowid aim to support people expanding their consciousness and capabilities in a responsible and safe way.

Art and media

Transhumanist art is most often found in cyberpunk or science fiction media such as video games and books, many of which command significant followings. From the soft-sci fi of Star Trek through to the cybernetic future of Deus Ex, millions of fans worldwide may find their first exposure to transhumanist ideas and discussions.

Academia

Within academia, professional futurists may engage in future studies or other cross-disciplinary research touching on transhumanist ideas. Singularity University was one of the first overtly futurist organisations to focus on these areas, though many established institutions may have established futurist related function often related to their science disciplines.

Government

Within a government context, transhumanism is possibly most associated with DARPA, the US military advanced research projects division. Many governments have 'futurist' departments such as the UK government's Foresight projects division, with topics such as AI and longevity making their way into serious structured discussion.

Transhumanist and futurist organisations

Transhumanist organisations are often synonymous or closely related with futurist organisations, such as London Futurists, the Future of Humanity Institute where as a smaller amount are overtly transhumanist such as the IEET and of course Humanity+. Many futurist publications such as futurism.com, Singularity Hub or even the Turing Church put out regular original content, commentary and analysis of technological trends.

See also