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Upgrading translational engineering in medicine and biology through conscious-technology with humanistic motivation and global vision

Abstract

The synergy between Engineering and Biology, which evolves as fast as both each of these disciplines do, allows us to offer top-of-the-line foundations to generate strong interactions industrial and welfare entities associated to health and living systems fields. We propose to articulate these fields based on the premise that new professionals must face different situations or crises due to the so-called islands of excellence. Often, the effort of retaining the lectures of teachers conspires against one’s own capability for analysis, logic and reasoning; a university education that does not stimulate the critical mind and does not teach how to think is not higher education, but training to submission. We are revising the programs of biomedical engineering education and the application of new pedagogic paradigms where critical thinking is the key: a holistic challenge which consists in a new way of teaching, learning, innovating, communicating and sharing with a creative attitude that represents quality of perception. We must redesign Engineers to work in a hybrid world where technology, science, humanism and other tendencies fuse and interconnect. In consequence, engineering becomes a profession whose limits are not specified, and where technology is the cause of a splendid amalgamation of science, art and management, widening the scope of its institutional mission. René Favaloro stated that individualism had to be replaced by collective interests and realized that teachers could cooperate in his plans through daily preventive education. During his lectures, he did not speak only about Medicine, but also about important social aspects such as poverty, the environment, drugs, education and the arms industry. He promoted changes in society, where education and social justice would be a top priority, and where university graduates got strongly involved with society, because history has taught us that good ideas and technologies can have unintended and negative consequences. On the basis that an increasingly educated and Internet-connected generation is rising up against the abuse of power and threats that hang over our entire planet, we propose a new educational paradigm which takes into account the thoughts of Favaloro as well as those of the Nobel Laureate Bernardo Houssay, and the legacies of Louis Pasteur and the Medici Family, to enhance Engineering Education in Biology and Medicine, and thus while encouraging faculty with this approach and motivating students and stimulating their creativity and their innovative ability throughout a conscious-technology curricula with humanistic motivation and global vision.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. Def. Conscious Technology = Technology is concerned with the immediate and long-term consequences of the relationships between machine and processes on one hand, and humans in society on the other hand. We must act consciously to keep these included. The age of conscious-technology is coming as two mega technology trends converge: our built environments become so intelligent that they seem conscious, and humans become so integrated with technology.

  2. The authors use the term Translational Engineering based on Pasteur’s Quadrant (Fig. 1), to express the connection between “understanding” of all the science and technology discoveries in the engineering inter-disciplines with “applications” beyond this field, i.e., biology, medicine, ecology, environment, etc.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Sandra Wray for her help in editing and commenting upon this paper.

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Correspondence to Ricardo Armentano.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Social Implications of Technologies

Health and Technology (Springer) Special Issue to honor to Dr. Lodewijk Bos. IFMBE’s Global Citizen Safety and Security WG I Special Session / Workshop: “Social Implications of Technology”. WC 2015 Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering and the IEEE Society of Social Implications of Technology (SSIT).

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Armentano, R., Kun, L. Upgrading translational engineering in medicine and biology through conscious-technology with humanistic motivation and global vision. Health Technol. 6, 27–34 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12553-016-0125-7

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Keywords

  • Translational engineering education
  • Conscious-technology
  • Creativity
  • Interoperability
  • Humanism
  • Global challenges facing humanity