London 2012 Event: Centre for Contemporary Arts CCA: 6.30pm 24 / 01 / 11

On 24th January, 2011, at 6.30pm, the University of the West of Scotland School of Creative & Cultural Industries will host an ‘inspired by 2012’ event at the CCA in Glasgow. It will bring together a scientist, an artist and a philosopher in conversation about the upcoming London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, focusing on the future of sport and the role of technologies of the body.

Going beyond the familiar debate about doping and anti-doping, this event will consider how far biology has been pushed by technological culture. Our key speakers are Dr Yannis Pitsiladis, who works with the World Anti-Doping Agency on genetic technologies and live artist Francesca Steele, who became a body builder as part of her most recent performance work. Along with UWS Professor Andy Miah, they will consider how we ought to regard the future of sport and how it might function in an era of transhuman enhancements.

Today, elite sports find themselves in increasingly unchartered waters. More than ever before, athletes are using technology to optimize their biology for performance and many of their methods are not even tested for by the authorities. From genetic tests for sport performance to the use of superhuman prosthetic enhancements, this subject reaches parts that present-day anti-doping rules cannot reach. These technologies have changed elite sports, as we know them, but the next decade promises even more of an overhaul og what we think “being good at sport” means. As we approach the London 2012 Games, this debate will consider the ethical implications of new technology in sport, asking what distinguishes the cheat from the innovator. We will ask whether the debate about the ethics of athletic performance is all but over, as the winning podium makes way for the transhuman athlete.

The University of the West of Scotland was selected to be part of Knowing Sport: the public engagement programme linked to the International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS 2012). ICSEMIS 2012, taking place in Glasgow in July 2012, will bring together the world’s leading scientists, academics and researchers in disciplines related to sport in advance of the Games. The Knowing Sport pilot programme, being run by Research Councils UK and Podium, aims to engage the public with science, research and the academic disciplines related to sport using the excitement and interest generated by the Games. The event is an official part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad ‘inspired by London 2012’ programme.


Professor Andy Miah

Dr Yannis Pitsiladis

Francesca Steele

Places are limited. To book a place please contact Margaret Scott, UWS Skillset Media Academy Manager