'A Truly Golden Handbook'

The Scholarly Quest for Utopia

Edited by Veerle Achten, Erik Schokkaert, and Geert Bouckaert

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‘A Truly Golden Handbook, No Less Instructive than Delightful, by the Most Learned and Distinguished Professors of the Renowned University of Leuven.’ 500 Years Utopia. What would the ideal society of the future look like?
In 1516, the eminent English humanist Thomas More tried his hand at imagining a perfect society on a distant island. His Utopia was published in the Flemish town of Leuven, home of a university that was established almost a century earlier. 500 years later, scholars of this university revisit More’s best-known work and reflect on the ideal society of the future, using the scientific insights of today, including perspectives which More could never have imagined. What will our cities look like a hundred years from now? How will stem cell research and 3D printing change the world? Will we be able to cure all diseases? Will we be traveling to other planets? Will computers take over? Or will humanity find a way to improve the quality of life for everyone and feed a growing world population?
In A Truly Golden Handbook, more than fifty KU Leuven scholars share their science-based utopian dreams. From the creation of spare organs, artificial intelligence and the genetic future, to global governance, ecological sustainability and pathways to more equality, this visionary book offers a broad interdisciplinary look at the world of tomorrow.

Contributors: All contributions were written by academics of KU Leuven. Conny Aerts, Ivo Aertsen, Marc Boogaerts, Geert Bouckaert, René Bouwen, Frederik Ceyssens, Stephan Claes, Katrijn Clémer, Sara Coemans, Goele Cornelissen, Marc Craps, Joep Crompvoets, Lieven De Cauter, Ortwin de Graef, Jan De Lepeleire, Dorien De Man, Bart De Moor, Koen Devriendt, Rudi D’Hooge, Thomas D’Hooghe, Philip Dutré, Jan Elen, Liesbet Geris, Gerard Govers, Styn Grieten, Karin Hannes, Ann Heylighen, Hilde Heynen, Rianne Janssen, Rudy Lauwereins, Koen Lemmens, Peter Lievens, Katlijn Malfliet, Jan Masschelein, Terrence Merrigan, Yves Moreau, Bart Muys, Marten Ovaere, Jan Rongé, Erik Schokkaert, Frans Schuit, Maarten Simons, Manuel Sintubin, Stéphane Symons, Rik Torfs, Chantal Van Audenhove, Kenneth Van den Bergh, André Van de Putte, Hilde Van Esch, Inge Vanfraechem, Ine Van Hoyweghen, Geertrui Van Overwalle, Peter Van Puyvelde, Arne van Stiphout, An Verburgh, Peter Vermeersch, Johan Wagemans, Lode Walgrave.

Introduction
Veerle Achten, Geert Bouckaert and Erik Schokkaert

1. The Utopian Human

Engineering the Human
Will Life Go Live One Day?
Bart De Moor
Preventive Maintenance for a Future without Disease
Rudy Lauwereins
Digital Health Care for Real Patients
Liesbet Geris and Ine Van Hoyweghen
The Replaceable Brain
Rudi D’Hooge

The Genetic Future
Blood and Stem Cell Utopia: The Search for the Holy Grail
Marc Boogaerts
Healthy Genes for Everyone
Koen Devriendt and Hilde Van Esch
Universal Reproductive Freedom and Health
Thomas D’Hooghe

The Health Care of the Future
Eradicating Depression without Losing Humanity
Stephan Claes
Recovery without Cure
Chantal Van Audenhove
Person-Centered Health Care without Fragmentation
Jan De Lepeleire

2. Utopian Society

The Governance of the Future
Utopian Public Governance: Cloudy, Cloudier, Cloudiest
Geert Bouckaert and Joep Crompvoets
Creative Democracy and the Global Citizen
Peter Vermeersch
Freedom of Expression: Rediscovering Speakers’ Interests
Koen Lemmens
Responding to Crime through Restoration
Lode Walgrave, Ivo Aertsen and Inge Vanfraechem

The Citizen of the Future
Religion as a Utopia?
Rik Torfs
Diversity without a Group Approach
Katlijn Malfliet
Building upon Disability Experience
Ann Heylighen
Co-Creating the Future Now
Marc Craps, Styn Grieten and Rene Bouwen
School: Everyone Can Learn Everything
An Verburgh, Maarten Simons, Jan Masschelein, Rianne Janssen, Jan Elen and Goele Cornelissen

The Market of the Future
2100: A Good Life in a Global Economy
Erik Schokkaert
Wage without Work
Marten Ovaere, Kenneth Van den Bergh and Arne van Stiphout
Innovation without Property?
Geertrui Van Overwalle
Unlimited Energy in a Finite World: A Stepping Stone from Humanity to ‘Humaneity’
Jan Ronge and Dorien De Man

3. The Utopian World

The City of the Future
Lutopia: An Ideal City in an Ideal World
Hilde Heynen

The Future of the Earth
The Moral Obligation of a Dream
Frans Schuit
Is There a Common Future for People and Trees?
Bart Muys
The Long and Difficult Road to the Land of Cockaigne 2.0
Gerard Govers
A World without Man, the End of the Anthropocene?
Manuel Sintubin

The Planets of the Future
Towards Other Worlds in the Milky Way
Conny Aerts and Katrijn Clemer
Interstellar Expeditions with a Medieval Mindset
Frederik Ceyssens

4. Utopian Knowledge

The Materials of the Future
Superatoms – More with Less Matter
Peter Lievens
3D Printing: The Making of Utopia
Peter Van Puyvelde

The Information of the Future
Thinking and Conscious Machines?
Philip Dutre
The Geek Reformation
Yves Moreau

The Science of the Future

The (App)Sense of Numbers and Narratives in Social Science Research
Karin Hannes and Sara Coemans
The Ideal Organization of Science: Two Simple but Utopian Proposals
Johan Wagemans

5. On Utopian Reflection
More’s Mere Words: Utopia Writ Large
Ortwin de Graef
Engaging History: Religion and Politics in Utopia
Terrence Merrigan
Utopia Rediscovered: A Redefinition of Utopianism in the Light of the Enclosures of the Commons
Lieven De Cauter
It Always Seems Impossible until It’s Done
Stephane Symons
What’s Wrong with Social Utopianism?
Andre Van de Putte

Format: Edited volume - hardback

Size: 240 × 160 mm

576 pages

ISBN: 9789462700796

Publication: September 26, 2016

Languages: English

Stock item number: 124541

Erik Schokkaert is full professor of welfare economics and chair and co-ordinator of Metaforum, the KU Leuven interdisciplinary think-tank for societal debate.

Geert Bouckaert is chair of the KU Leuven Contemporary Art Commission and full professor of public governance.


Veerle Achten is chair and co-ordinator of Metaforum, the KU Leuven interdisciplinary think-tank for societal debate.


'A Truly Golden Handbook: The Scholarly Quest for Utopia' is an ambitious
celebration of the five-hundredth anniversary of the first publication of Thomas More's 'Utopia'. And, since 'Utopia' was first published in the Flemish town of Leuven in 1516, the editors of this current volume invited over forty scholars presently at the university there to "revisit More's exercise in an interdisciplinary range of science-based utopias" and "reflect on the future, starting from their own fields of research, and on how future developments in their fields of research may impact our societies" (9). [...] For such a huge undertaking, the organization of the text is incredibly well done.
John K. Hayden, Sixteenth Century Journal XLIX/I (2018)

  Sixteenth Century Journal
For a book that attempts to provide scientific, social scientific, and humanities-based utopias, it is also remarkably readable for a non-specialist in most cases.
European History Quarterly, Volume 47, Number 3, July 2017


  European History Quarterly