Federal Institute of Provolution, The
Despite the common misconception, provolves in the Solsys Era did have rights. However, abuses were still widespread, and the situation only deteriorated during the Dark Ages.
- The Federal Institute of Provolution, or FIP, was created in the Vesta Convention of 937 AT with the specific aim of protecting the rights of provolved clades.
The FIP had two broad remits:
First was dealing with existing provolves - protecting them from exploitation, reintegrating those who had been separated from the rest of civilisation during the dark ages, and providing patches for partial and unsatisfactory provolution attempts. During the early Federation, the FIP was well known for offering sanctuary to any provolved individual or clade that requested it, and became involved in several legal tussles with various research groups and corporations.
Second was providing oversight and aid to additional provolution attempts. To engage in provolution, a research group had to first apply for a license, sign an ethics form, and submit to an investigation of their planned techniques and equipment. Over the Federation's history, close to a hundred clades were created using FIP licences, including the first invertebrate provolves. (A further 3,400 applications were rejected.)
The FIP became known as the greatest employer of provolves in the Federation. By the 1100s, the FIP had more provolves on its payroll than humans, an unprecedented situation at the time.
It had a close working relationship with the Institute of Primate Provolution, especially during the latter's first steps towards provolution.
The FIP's fortunes rose and fell with the Federation's. By the 1500s, it had become little more than a tool of the megacorporations. The same hyperturing might serve as a senior administrator for the FIP and have a position on the board of the megacorp lobbying for a licence. FIP licences were sometimes seen as little more than a high-level currency. At the same time, licence from smaller research groups were more often rejected for potential copyright infringement than ethical issues. Accusations of corruption were common (though never substantiated), as were reports of provolve abuse while the FIP looked the other way. The more scrupulous employees switched affiliation to the IPP, whose star was ascendency.
The remains of the formal FIP — by that point a largely powerless organisation outside of the solar system — were disbanded in 1652.
Another institution of the same name is part of the Terragen Federation's administration. Like its predecessor, it provides provolution licenses.
Text by Liam Jones
Initially published on 26 July 2017.