Neuroethics News

Share your neuroethics-related news, announcements, opportunities, and accomplishments with the INS membership. Member publications and accomplishments are also featured on this page. Submit news by completing the News / Event Form. Subscribe to receive Society emails.


Upcoming Event of Possible Interest to INS Members -- March for Science, April 22, Various locations

Mental health UK -- An event in east London this week, featured in an article titled "It's good to talk: pupils gather for world's largest mental health lesson" in the Guardian, published March 22, was officially recognised as the largest-ever mental health lesson. 

INS Statement -- In response to a recent article in the Guardian titled "Brain scans can spot criminals, scientists say," published March 13, the International Neuroethics Society released the following statement. "This is an intriguing neuroimaging study but of limited value as it will not be possible to acquire scans of individuals suspected of committing an offence while they commit the act. In the study, these are mock crimes, so the problem is not only how to monitor the brains of criminals while committing a crime, but also the validity of assessing the criminal intentions of someone who is lying in a brain scanner. How do we separate intentions from actual actions? We might have an intention to do something that is not according to the law but never act on the intention. Greater accuracy is essential where an individual’s freedom might be at stake. Even if such a test was to be developed with the necessary accuracy, judges will still need to rely on the same range of observations such as a person’s character and history of behaviour."

New BNA Journal -- The British Neuroscience Association launched a new peer-reviewed, open access journal called Brain and Neuroscience Advances. Distributed monthly by SAGE Publications, the journal will feature original research papers and reviews from all fields and disciplines of neuroscience, including molecular, cellular, systems, behavioural, and cognitive investigations. The journal welcomes submissions in basic, translational, and/or clinical neuroscience, and is offering a limited introductory article processing charge of £600, discounted from the full rate of £1,200.

BRAIN Meeting Recording -- The third meeting of the The BRAIN Initiative's MCWG Neuroethics Division was held on February 14 in Bethesda, MD, and a 4-hour recording of the proceedings have been made available by the NIH.

Participants seated at panel table

BRAIN Meeting Recap -- The U.S. NIH provided a recap of a neuroethics panel discussion held at the BRAIN Initiative Investigators Meeting in December 2016. The panel included five members of the Neuroethics Division of the NIH BRAIN Multi-Council Working Group (MCWG)—Christine Grady, Karen Rommelfanger, Rafael Yuste, Khara Ramos, and Hank Greely—as well as Winston Chiong, a co-investigator on an NIH BRAIN grant. Discussion focused on defining neuroethics, why it is important to the scientific community, and how the scientific community might address neuroethical implications of their work.


The Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Oxford is accepting applications for a full-time Research Fellow in Neuroethics to conduct collaborative research and related activities for the interdisciplinary research project BrainCom: Neuroprosthetics for speech, funded by the European Commission. The fellow will work under the supervision and direction of Hannah Maslen, BrainCom Principal Investigator, and will conduct research on philosophical and ethical issues related to the research and clinical adoption of neuroprosthetics. Applications are to be submitted no later than midday (UK time) Thursday April 6.

The Neuroscience, Ethics and Society Team at the University of Oxford is accepting applications for a Senior Researcher in Global Psychiatric Gen-Ethics. Led by Ilina Singh, the team is uniquely situated within Oxford Psychiatry and Neuroscience and has an international reputation for its work in neuroscience and psychiatric ethics. The fixed-term, 2-year position is based in the Department of Psychiatry at the Warneford Hospital and is funded by the Stanley Centre for Psychiatric Research.


A group of academics from the fields of neuroscience, education, and psychology voiced their concern in a signed a letter to the Guardian, published March 12 in the article "Teachers must ditch 'neuromyth' of learning styles, say scientists," about the popularity of the 'learning style approach' among some teachers. They say it is ineffective, a waste of resources, and potentially even damaging as it can lead to a fixed approach that could impair pupils' potential to apply or adapt themselves to different ways of learning.

A knowledge brief titled "How Should Justice Policy Treat Young Offenders" was released February 28 by the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience. This brief considers the policy implications of the latest research on adolescent development. 

Timothy Brown and Margaret Thompson, University of Washington, wrote an article titled "When Neuroethicists Become Labmates" in The Neurothics Blog, published February 22.

Alan Winfield, Professor of Robot Ethics at the University of the West of England, was featured on an episode of BBC’s ‘A Life Scientific’ broadcast February 21. Winfield believes that robots aren't going to take over the world—at least not any time soon—but that doesn't mean we should be complacent. 

Jesper Ryberg, Roskilde University (Denmark), wrote an article titled "Neuroethics and Brain Privacy: Setting the Stage" in Res Publica, published February 20.