11 August 2021 Statement by Richard Leis: “I am no longer involved with most transhumanist, life extension, singularity, and other futurist and emerging technology organizations and movements. At this time (August 2021), I am still a paying member of a cryopreservation company, and, in May 2021, I participated in an interview at this company’s headquarters for a South Korean TV network’s documentary about cryonics and the future, but I am reconsidering my membership and will no longer participate in such activities in support of this or any other organization or movement related to transhumanism, life extension, singularity, cryonics, futurism, emerging technology, etc.
“I mostly ended my involvement in these organizations and movements more than a decade ago. I had become troubled by the white supremacy, racism, colonialism, sexism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, and other bigotries and systems of oppression within and perpetuated by these organizations and movements and by their participants. These organizations and movements have failed to address obstacles to an inclusive, equitable, and just future. Revelations about the immoral and unethical beliefs and practices of some prominent participants and donors as well as troubling new allegations of sexual harassment have only furthered my resolve to distance myself from and end my involvement in all such organizations and movements.
“The information presented below, elsewhere on my website, and in interviews, articles, and posts published elsewhere about “h+” and my involvement in the transhumanist, life extension, singularity, and cryonics movements as part of my graphic design portfolio and record of activities represents a chapter of my life that is over.”
h+ is now defunct.
h+ began as a life extension and transhumanist club cofounded by Richard Leis at the University of Arizona. The branding with the lower case “h” indicated the members’ inclusive local grassroots effort within the larger global Transhumanist movement.
Richard designed, developed, and maintained the original h+ Tucson website as well as the expanded h+ website for multiple chapters and new transhumanist-related content, including a gallery of transhumanist art, links, and other resources.
Website Screen Shots
h+ was founded by University of Arizona students, staff members, and Tucson residents in the summer of 2006 to provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of innovative ideas about transhumanism and related topics such as radical life extension, Artificial General Intelligence, and the Technological Singularity. It quickly became an official University of Arizona-recognized club and was affiliated with the Transhumanist Student Network (TSN) and the World Transhumanist Association (WTA).
Richard and the other founding members organized and led meetings, invited guest speakers, and raised club funds. Member drives included creative flyers and posters that drew positive attention and new members to the club.
This attention and increasing interaction by h+ Tucson members with other transhumanist and emerging technology enthusiasts and organizations around the world led to expansion beyond the initial Tucson group. Richard launched an “h+ Chapters” initiative in 2007—”Local transhumanist clubs. Global participation.”—that led to the founding of the Life Extension Club in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona and Neosapiens in Visalia, California.
In 2008, h+ and the TSN proposed a a merger “to create a single unified resource for local transhumanist and related clubs, their leaders, and their club members, with oversight by the WTA.” The new organization would be called h+. This evolved quickly into a larger and very successful fundraising and organizational effort that rebranded the World Transhumanist Association as Humanity+. Richard was elected as the Executive Director of the Humanity+ organization and held the position for a short time before resigning to continue his education.
As club members left Tucson to pursue their education and careers elsewhere, the original h+ Tucson club began to shrink. It continued fitfully throughout 2009 and 2010 before it finally closed, but its legacy lives on in the rebranded transhumanist movement that continues to this day as well as the ongoing efforts and technological inventions by many club members in emerging technology fields and the sciences.