iHuman draws on expertise from across the social sciences, the humanities and STEM disciplines and brings together academics, community groups and third sector organisations. We promote risky conversations between and across disciplines and do this primarily through our funded research projects.
How we understand Being ‘Human’
How we understand being ‘human’ differs between disciplines and has changed radically over time. We are living in an age marked by rapid growth in knowledge about the human body and brain, and new technologies with the potential to change them. Simultaneously, many people across the globe are facing dehumanising practices associated with austerity, conflict and exploitation.
Our research themes
How are the biological and cognitive sciences, as well as their application in various biotechnologies, reconstructing ideas of what it means to be human in the 21st Century?
The Covid-19 crisis has thrown a spotlight onto these questions, and the life-and-death stakes attached to human knowledge. For example, what role did scientific knowledge play in policy decisions during the pandemic, and how did that knowledge influence decision-makers’ perceptions of ‘the public’?
What will it mean to be human in the future? Our research considers not what will be, but how we imagine what could be, considering the future as something co-created between science and society in the here and now.
The iHuman manifesto
Our work aims to:
- promote risky conversations between and across disciplines primarily through our funded research projects
- analyse and promote innovative thinking about what it means to be human in modern times, and the relationship between changing boundaries and social justice
- become a globally renowned for interdisciplinary research institute responding to the contemporary moment of the post-anthropocene
- disrupt and expand the category of the human
- promote dialogue between Critical Disability Studies, Science and Technology Studies and a host of Minoritarian Sciences
- critically intervene in relation to theories of humanism and the posthuman
- engage with our civic responsibilities and partnerships with key communities
- approach research and scholarship with clearly articulated ethical standards in relation to developments associated with human activism, health, social care and biotechnologies
- produce a manifesto of imagined human futures
- promote dialogues between marginalised human communities including dispersed, displaced, disabled and diasporic people