About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My schedule at the World Science Fiction convention

Here's my schedule at Anticipation, the world science fiction convention in Montreal in a couple of weeks:

1. When: Thu 12:30
Location: P-513A
Title: Bio-Ethics
Session ID: 104
All Participants: Alison Sinclair, Judy T. Lazar, Laura Anne Gilman,
Russell Blackford, Tomoko Masuda
Moderator: Laura Anne Gilman
Description: Medical experiments, drug companies, cloning, insurance,
bookies and you.
Duration: 1:30 hrs:min
Language: English
Track: Science and Space
AV/Internet request: Microphones / PA

2. When: Thu 19:00
Location: P-516AB
Title: The Future is Artificial, the Future is Intelligent!
Session ID: 121
All Participants: Russell Blackford, Tom Galloway, Kim Binsted, Peter
Moderator: Tom Galloway
Description: Ray Kurzweil thinks there's going to be a bright future
for AI, Vernor Vinge thinks we're all invited, and Bill Joy isn't so
sure in either case. Why are people quoting the Unabomber Manifesto
during the debate?
Duration: 1:30 hrs:min
Language: English
Track: Science and Space
AV/Internet request: Microphones / PA

3. When: Thu 22:00
Location: P-511BE
Title: I'll Be Back
Session ID: 390
All Participants: Jeanne Cavelos, Niall Harrison, Russell Blackford,
Seanan McGuire
Moderator: Russell Blackford
Description: Who could have guess 25 years ago that “The Terminator”
was starring a future governor of California? Having spawned several
sequels and a TV series this jarring image of a bleak future that
might yet be averted or changed continues to hold our attention. Why
have the “Terminator” films been so influential, and what do they say
about the times that produced them? How does “Terminator Salvation”
fit in?

4. When: Fri 11:00
Location: P-Autographs
Title: Russell Blackford Signing
Session ID: 1254
All Participants: Russell Blackford
Description: Russell Blackford Signing
Duration: 0:30 hrs:min
Language: English
Track: Autographs
AV/Internet request: None

5. When: Sat 12:30
Location: P-512AE
Title: Author Reading
Session ID: 191
All Participants: L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Russell Blackford, Steven
Description: Steven Lopata; Russell Blackford; L. E. Modesitt, Jr.;
Duration: 1:30 hrs:min
Language: English
Track: Reading
AV/Internet request: None

6. When: Sat 19:00
Location: P-511BE
Title: Who Watched the Watchmen?
Session ID: 254
All Participants: Russell Blackford, Scott Edelman, Tom Stidman,
Lenny Bailes, Yanni Kuznia
Moderator: Russell Blackford
Description: After many years and false starts the big screen
adaptation of “Watchmen” finally happened. Was it any good? Was it
too faithful? Not faithful enough? Did it make sense if you hadn’t
read the graphic novel? Let’s discuss.

7. When: Sun 12:30
Location: P-513A
Title: I'm Not Scared any More
Session ID: 582
All Participants: Russell Blackford, Stephen H. Segal, Kaaron Warren
Moderator: Kaaron Warren
Description: One problem horror has is that, once it puts a new scary
idea into the discourse, that idea rapidly becomes normalised and,
well, not scary. So what's really scary now, this late in the day?

8. When: Sun 21:00
Location: P-511BE
Title: No One can Hear You Scream
Session ID: 389
All Participants: Cynthia Huckle, Geza A.G. Reilly, Jennifer
Williams, Russell Blackford
Moderator: Jennifer Williams
Description: It’s 30 years since Ridley Scott scared the living
daylights out of us with “Alien.” Was it just a haunted house story
set in space? Was there anything to admire beyond the goo and gore?
Is Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) still a heroine for the ages? Let’s take
a look at a key SF film (and its sequels and ripoffs) and see why this
one still causes nightmares.

9. When: Mon 12:30
Location: P-511BE
Title: Genetic Engineering Our Offspring
Session ID: 38
All Participants: Birgit Houston, John Wilson, Judy T. Lazar, Russell
, Paolo Bacigalupi
Moderator: Russell Blackford
Description: Surgical modifications, perhaps with controlled
re-growth. Cyborg technology. All standard SF tropes that are now just
around the next corner but one. What will all these changes mean? To
us as individuals? As a society? Will we try to postpone or control
them? Will we succeed? Will we still be human and does it matter? And
what reactions will there be from broader society?
Duration: 1:00 hrs:min
Language: English
Track: Science and Space
AV/Internet request: Microphones / PA