Democracy After Anatomy - TEDxNorthwesternU
America's democratic institutions have historically been restricted - and then opened up - based on appeals to anatomy. Voting, for one, was first essentially restricted to white men. Over time, groups with other anatomies struggled their way into being seen as "created equal." Civil rights movements of all sorts - for sex equality, racial equality, dis/ability equality - have tended to be based on the idea that our common anatomy is more important than our anatomical differences. Yet even today, many legal restrictions are based on anatomical distinctions: age in voting and drinking, viability in abortion and withdrawal of life support, and sex where marriage and the draft are concerned.
As our democracy has matured, it has still retained an ancient reliance on anatomy as deeply meaningful. Yet at the same time, science has been dissolving the bright lines between anatomical categories. So what's next? What could - what will - democracy look like after anatomy?
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.
Part of Northwestern University's mission is to cultivate the spread of innovative ideas and reliable information throughout the community. With this aim in mind, Science in Society and the Center for Genetic Medicine presented Northwestern's first TEDx event, designed to bring those from inside and outside of the University together to explore the concept of identity from social and scientific perspectives.