Professor Hélène Mialet in the Department of Science and Technology Studies, Faculty of Science, has received a Berggruen Fellowship to work in the Transformations of the Human program at the University of Southern California. The program focuses on understanding how humans as individuals, in relationships, and as a species are changing in the face of new technologies and scientific methods.
“The Berggruen Institute Fellowship will provide me with a wonderful opportunity to work with people at the forefront of their fields in social sciences, arts and AI on one of the most pressing issues of today: the transformation of the human in the digital era,” said Mialet, who will begin her fellowship in August 2018.
During her fellowship, Mialet will be based at the Berggruen Institute’s Philosophy + Culture Center. She will be completing her ethnographic study and resulting book on type 1 diabetes and how it is managed with prostheses as complex and diverse as high tech machines and therapeutic dogs.
“I believe that thinking about type 1 diabetes in this way can provide important insights, not just about the disease and its management, but also about who we are,” adds Mialet. “Such insights reveal that we are not machines closed off from our environments, but rather beings existing in symbiosis with other humans, machines and animals.”
Mialet is an anthropologist and philosopher of science whose research interests include cognition, subjectivity, human-machine interaction, body and self, the management of chronic diseases, and more. She has written several books, including Hawking Incorporated: Stephen Hawking and The Anthropology of the Knowing Subject (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012); A La Recherche de Stephen Hawking (Odile Jacob, 2014); and L’Entreprise Créatrice, Le rôle des récits, des objets et de l’acteur dans l’invention (Paris: Hermès-Lavoisier, 2008). She has also published widely in both popular and academic venues.
The Berggruen Institute recently interviewed Mialet about her research on Stephen Hawking. Read the Q&A.