2010 and older

SPT 2009: Converging Technologies, Changing Societies

July 7-10, 2009, University of Twente, the Netherlands


This article appeared in the September issue of Civil Engineering Surveyor and appears here with the kind permission of the editor, Darrell Smart

Review written for the Reasoner

Keynotes: Nick Bostrom, Andrew Feenberg, Jean-Pierre Dupuy

Organizing Committee:

General Director: Philip Brey, University of Twente

Scientific Directors: Peter-Paul Verbeek and Tsjalling Swierstra, University of Twente

Managing Director: Katinka Waelbers, University of Twente

EMAIL: spt2009@gw.utwente.nl

The SPT series is recognized as the leading international conferences series at the intersection of philosophy and technology.  The theme of SPT 2009 is Converging Technologies, Changing Societies,
and focuses on the increasing convergence of information technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and cognitive technologies (also called NBIC technologies), and the implications this convergence has for society. Increasingly, there is convergence between the four mentioned technologies, meaning that there are overlapping applications and synergies between them. Think for example of brain-computer interfaces, lab-on-a-chip technology, developments in regenerative medicine in which nano- and biotechnology converge, human enhancement and cyborg technologies, and ambient intelligence. In this SPT conference, we are interested to explore the philosophical, social and ethical aspects of different kinds of convergences of these technologies.

The conference theme also has a broader interpretation, which is the convergence of any kind of technology to perform similar tasks. We are also interested in proposals that explore this broader sense of convergence. This broader sense may for example include the various kinds of convergence of media and communication technologies, such as television, data communication and telephony. It may also refer to the intersection of architecture and virtual reality technology, or environmental and medical technology, and other areas in which technological fields and application areas meet.

This year, we will work with a track system, which implies that proposals will be asked to be submitted under the heading of a (preferred) track. Many of the tracks represent the conference theme, but there are also tracks on other themes, as well as a general philosophy of technology track that is open to proposals that do not fit the other tracks. We therefore welcome papers in all areas of philosophy and technology, from philosophers, engineers, and others who are doing research at the intersection of philosophy and technology.

Sponsors and co-organizers:


Faculty of Behavioral Sciences

Rathenau Institute

3TU. Centre for Ethics and Technology




Master Programme PSTS

Scholars who are not a member of SPT yet, will become a member for one year by registering for this conference. No costs.