Peter Scott-Morgan: Rewiring Humanity

The first sign that something was not right came to scientist Dr Peter Scott-Morgan when he was getting out of the bath – no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't manage to shake the water from his feet. Not long after, he was diagnosed with MND (Motor Neurone Disease) and given two years to live. Instead, Peter got to work on prolonging his full and happy life. In an almost inconceivable coincidence, 30 years before his MND diagnosis, Scott-Morgan had written a book called The Robotics Revolution. And so, aided by his research he began his quest to become the first human cyborg. His voicebox has been replaced with eye-gaze technology, his breathing is controlled artificially, and he has banked the sounds of his own voice so that 20,000 of his own words can be used to communicate in the future. It’s a transition he shares with humour and intelligence in his revelatory book, Peter 2.0. In many ways, Peter’s body is being rewired, but his brain remains fully in control of it all. In this special Frederick Hood Memorial event at the 2021 Edinburgh International Book Festival, Scott-Morgan discusses his transition – and above all his desire to carry on living and loving those around him – with journalist and broadcaster Sheena McDonald.

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