"Over the next thousand years or so, the biological substrates of suffering will be eradicated completely."
David Pearce is an eminent figure within the transhumanist movement, and co-founder of Humanity+, an international organisation which advocates for the technological enhancement of the human species.
Pearce envisions a future completely free of suffering for both humans and non-human animals, a pain-free paradise in which all thought, feeling, and experience is sublimated into what Pearce calls "gradients of bliss". The abolition of suffering is for Pearce an ethical necessity, elaborated in his manifesto, The Hedonistic Imperative.
Pearce comes to the festival to examine the horizon of technological enhancement in the light of the radical gene-sequencing technology CRISPR.