World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

WCC and new and emerging technologies

The author of this e-book, Dr Gregor Wolbring is a member of CAC/ISO - Canadian Advisory Committees for the International Organization for Standardization, section TC229 Nanotechnologies; a former member of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO; a Disabled People's International Bioethics Taskforce Chair; a biochemist, health researcher, and a researcher on ethics, sociology and governance of emerging technology researcher, and disability/ability studies. This e-book is not an official WCC publication but a discussion paper.

01 January 2008

Although not an official publication by the WCC, we hope that this discussion paper by Dr Wolbring will elicit a meaningful exchange of ideas on issues concerning new technologies such as nanotechnology, synthetic biology, cognitive/neuro sciences and cybernetics; new concepts such as transhumanism and ableism; the impact of the above on the discourse within WCC and its members and between WCC members and others; impact of existing WCC discourse on new technologies and marginalized populations and vice versa. Dr. Gregor Wolbring served as a resource person at the WCC 9th Assembly for the ecumenical conversations "Keeping the Faith in a Cyber-World: Christian communities and new technologies" and "Witnessing to the Sanctity of Life: Bioethics and the Challenges of New Technologies", and was a member of the WCC genetics advisory committee the mandate of which ended with the Assembly. A bioethicist, biochemist, health and governance of science and technology researcher and an ability studies scholar, Dr. Wolbring is based at the University of Calgary in the Departments of Physiology and Biophysics and Community Health (Faculty of Medicine) and Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies (Faculty of Education). He is also a founding member of the Centre for Nanotechnology and Society at Arizona State University, USA; a part-time professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Canada; and a former member of the Executive of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (2003-2007). He maintains a website at , a biweekly column "The Choice is Yours" at and a blog on new and emerging technologies at

Download : Wolbringwccebook.pdf