Music, Physics, and Biopolitics

- Yaman Ors, Ph.D.

Unit of Medical Ethics, Ankara Medical Faculty, Sihhiya, 06100 Ankara, TURKEY

Eubios Ethics Institute Newsletter 4 (November, 1994) 74-75.

The relationship between the first two terms of the above title is obviously known to every reader - acoustics as part of physics is that branch of science whereby music is studies as organised and "esthetical" sound and /or voice, basically at the inorganic level. Such a methodological relationship between either of the two fields and biopolitics as the third field in the title, however, does evidently not exist. Yet, what we might call an indirect relation has been established among all these three on a given occasion at the end of July. This is the International Sakharov Festival organised by the Biopolitics International Organisation and held in Athens in July 28-31. Musical activities were understandably an important part of the Festival which was in honour of the late Andrei D. Sakharov, an eminent Russian physicist, known as a freedom and peace activist who was awarded the Novel Peace Prize in 1975.

As for the academic part of the Festival, its subtitle gives us a basic idea about its scope and content: "Biopolitics - The Bio-Environment - Bio-Culture in the next millenium". Among the headings of its sessions were such topics as Environment and Health Protection; Agriculture, Industry and Energy Production; Preservation of the Bio-Environment and Profit Making; Social and Cultural Dimensions, and so on. And among its main themes may be mentioned "The Bio-Assessment of Technology...", "Bio-Economy...", "Bio-Education...", and other related subjects.

Dr. Agni Vlavianos-Arganitis is the Founder and President of the Biopolitics International Organisation which has been quite active since its foundation in Athens about ten years ago and which has its trustees, a board of directors, supporters, representatives and participants at its meetings from different countries of the world. Some of its main goals are: the international co-operation of the better understanding and appreciation of bios (life) and the bio-environment, international legislation for bios rights, promotion of bio-education by an International University for the Bio-Environment, and international campaign for Environmental Olympics and Bios Prizes.

As must have been implied by the term so far, "Biopolitics" is an interdisciplinary and quite complex, comprehensive field with its extensions into different areas, including Diplomacy, Ethics and (expectedly) Bioethics, Philosophy, History, Architecture and others. The main concern or departure point in the creation of such a field must also be clear: though academically oriented with a view to studying man-nature relationship, above all from a scientific viewpoint, its foremost intention is importantly pragmatic. Those involved in Biopolitics are concerned with the development of a non-anthropocentric, nature-oriented ethics which would positively affect our overall relations with the world.

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