Being Human Festival 2019

Spoken word

Being Human Festival 2019: 21st Century Body with Professor Alice Roberts

Thursday 21 November

Tickets: Free

Being Human Festival 2019: 21st Century Body – panel discussion with Q&A

Join author and TV broadcaster Alice Roberts (Professor of Public Engagement in Science) as she debates evolving beauty demands and body agency with an interdisciplinary panel of fellow University of Birmingham researchers as part of Being Human Festival 2019. From ever-changing beauty ideals to increasingly complex questions about the property rights of human biomaterials, 21st Century Body offers a participatory, thought-provoking ride through contemporary ethical and moral questions relevant to us all.

Alice will be joined by fellow #birminghamheroes whose research is helping redefine the 21st Century Body, changing how the body & self are seen and understood. This includes:

Professor Heather Widdows (Philosophy): Drawing on her recent book, Perfect Me: Beauty as an Ethical Ideal, Heather will discuss our increasingly visual culture, the beauty demands it places on us and the impact of highly modified bodies becoming regarded as normal or natural.

Professor Muireanne Quigley (Law): Research crossing medical ethics and law will be highlighted to examine whether current policy and law is fit for purpose, as body property rights begin to blur in a world of ‘Everyday Cyborgs’.

Dr Victoria Goodyear (Sports Science): What challenges and potential does digital technology offer educational practitioners supporting young people’s health and wellbeing?


Event Information


  • Please arrive by 6.30pm to register & take your seat in good time
  • The panel will begin at 6.45pm
  • Short interval, offering a comfort break and chance to submit your own question via our drop-box at 7.30pm
  • Panel reconvenes at 8:00pm
  • Final thoughts & Event Close 8:45pm

Please arrive by 6.30pm. Whilst tickets are free, due to the capacity limitations of the venue you must have an Eventbrite ticket to attend this event. You will need to present your name at the reception desk in the Bramall Music Hall foyer, where your ticket registration will be checked. You do not need to bring a printed ticket.

This event is part of the Being Human festival, led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. For further information please see

Venue: Elgar Concert Hall, The Bramall

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