Prof. Michael Bess, Ph.D.

Prof. Michael Bess, Ph.D.

Michael Bess is the Chancellor’s Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, where he has taught for three decades. Professor Bess has been awarded the Jeffrey Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching, and the Vanderbilt Chair of Teaching Excellence. His books include Our Grandchildren, Redesigned: Life in the Bioengineered Society of the Near Future and Planet in Peril: Humanity’s Four Greatest Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them.

Praise for Michael Bess:

“Michael Bess is a creative historian whose work includes peering into the future to offer insight on how to improve humanity. He has received numerous writing awards and several of the most prestigious teaching awards Vanderbilt bestows on faculty. When I asked him to present the topic of Our Grandchildren Redesigned, on which this course is based, to my Vanderbilt Law School class on the future of law, my students (and I) were spellbound. His delivery is captivating and accessible, and his depth of knowledge is impressive. Taking this course will not only inform you of what our future holds, it will better equip you as a citizen to engage in discourse on what our future should be.”
–J.B. Ruhl, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law, Vanderbilt University Law School

“Dr. Michael Bess has always been at the forefront in thinking through the most relevant and pressing issues generated by techno-cultures. Contemporary humans face unprecedented decisions and must take action. Dr. Bess clarifies the questions so the answers can be seen.”
–Diana Walsh Pasulka, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, UNC Wilmington

“Professor Michael Bess is a leading voice in the debate about human enhancement. Students will love the way his discussion ranges over both the technologies that we are increasingly applying to nature and the history of debate about making better humans.”
–Nicholas Agar, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Carnegie Mellon University (Australia)

“The discussion of how emerging technologies may alter our species has been clouded by both hype and handwringing for too long. It takes the voice of a passionate humanist and perspicacious historian to explain what is happening to humanity right now – and what historic choices confront us up ahead. Michael Bess is that voice.”
–Richard Samuel Deese, Senior Lecturer, Division of Social Sciences, Boston University

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  • Superhuman: The Future of Drugs, Bioelectronics, and Genetic Medicine

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