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Edinburgh does Science

Posted: 02 March 2018

So much has changed since we held our first Edinburgh International Science Festival in 1989. Margaret Thatcher was in her third term, Tim Berners-Lee had just invented the World Wide Web and Section 28 had been passed just a year earlier, stating that local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland were banned in the "promotion of homosexuality" in all public schools – a law that was only lifted in 2003.

Attitudes towards sexuality have thankfully changed due to a number of reasons: advances in technology, more liberal legislation and a general shift in societal awareness and acceptance of difference. Not only do we have more liberal laws on divorce, abortion and homosexuality but the advent of the internet has allowed individuals to find communities online and connect through their self-expression. We now have a plethora of sexual identities anyone can explore and as time goes on, the lines between gender become blurrier from the more traditional roles previous generation were taught as being socially acceptable or the ‘norm’.

Although there are broad differences in attitudes across the globe, so much of our current world seems to revolve around connecting with romantic partners digitally, from Sexting, Snapchat, Tinder and Ok-Cupid that mean we interact in a whole new way. This has had an effect on how we define sex and behaviour and attitude and leads us to the question - what is The Future of Human Sexuality?

Join us on Friday 6th April at Summerhall with Dr Kate Lister, a sex historian, and Dr Kate Devlin, a sextech researcher, as they delve into how technology is pushing human sexuality into unchartered territory, as humans are now experiencing love and intimacy in new futuristic ways, and what does mean for our own relationships?