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Humanity will be radically changed by technology in the future. We foresee the feasibility of redesigning the human condition, including such parameters as the inevitability of aging, limitations on human and artificial intellects, unchosen psychology, suffering, and our confinement to the planet earth.

Annual HG Wells Award for Outstanding Contributions to Transhumanism

 

The annual HG Wells award is conferred annually by Humanity+ Board of Directors on the person who has made the most outstanding contributions to the transhumanist cause in the previous year.

 


H.G. Wells Award Winners


2004: Aubrey de Grey, Ph.D.
2005: Ramez Naam
2006: Charles Stross
2007: Ray Kurzweil



Herbert George Wells

Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) was an English futurist and writer. H. G. Well's first bestseller was Anticipations, published in 1901. Perhaps his most explicitly futuristic work, it bore the subtitle "An Experiment in Prophecy" when originally serialized in a magazine. The book is particularly interesting for its prescience - trains and cars result in the dispersion of population from cities to suburbs, and moral restrictions declining as men and women seek greater sexual freedom. His early novels, called "scientific romances", invented a number of themes now classic in science fiction in such works as The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds He was a utopian and socialist, and a member of the Fabian Society, an British group of utopian social democratic thinkers. But he was very aware of the ways that political authoritarianism and other social trends could lead to very unpleasant outcomes, and some of his novels depicted very dystopian futures, like The Time Machine, in which class divisions led to a division of society into two different species, and The Sleeper Awakes, about a socialist who wakes up in a socialist future gone terribly wrong. >From quite early in his career, he sought a better way to organize society, and wrote a number of Utopian novels, usually starting with the world rushing to catastrophe, until people realize a better way of living, whether by mysterious gases from a comet causing people to behave rationally (In the Days of the Comet), or a world council of scientists taking over, as in The Shape of Things to Come (1933). This latter work depicted, all too accurately, the impending World War, with cities being destroyed by aerial bombs. After the war a new world is built, scientifically advanced and united. But at the end of this story the question is left open about whether the Luddite backlash will stop human progress.