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 Submission formAll past news is available in the news archive.   



Participants seated at panel table

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 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.

BNA2017 Festival of Neuroscience -- The INS is participating in the British Neuroscience Association's BNA2017 Festival of Neuroscience to be held April 10-13 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Nick Davis, Manchester Metropolitan University, will give a public talk titled "Using brain science to boost behaviour" on April 11 (10:00–11:45am) at the Birmingham Rep Theatre. Sir Colin Blakemore, University of London, and Irene Tracey, University of Oxford, will lead a discussion forum on "Brain research, ethics, policy and society" on April 13 (10:40–11:40am) at the ICC Birmingham. Review the program and public program for more information about featured themes, speakers and topics.

Brain Awareness Week -- The 22nd annual observance of Brain Awareness Week will be March 13-19, 2017. Coordinated by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, the campaign aims to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Several INS members will be participating public activities. If you or your institution will be organizing an event, discussion or debate during Brain Awareness Week, March 13-19, 2017, please let us know by completing the news/event form and we will share with our international members and neuroethics leaders.

The recent U.S. Executive Order about immigration has caused widespread concern, including at your International Neuroethics Society. Last November the INS issued a statement affirming that we seek a diversity of global perspectives, values and experiences, and encourage multi-cultural and intellectual exchange. The new, unsupportable U.S. action requires a more specific response. The Society’s Executive Committee will meet by teleconference as soon as possible to discuss paths forward. Expect to see a statement from the Society about the situation shortly after that meeting, probably similar to positions taken by the AAAS, SfN, and most major U.S. universities. Read more 


The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) is now accepting symposium and technical workshop proposals for the 11th FENS Forum of Neuroscience to be held July 7-11, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Organizers provide submission guidelines and meeting themes on the event website. The submission deadline is March 1, 2017.

The Italian Society for Neuroethics has announced a call for papers for the IX edition of the International Scientific Conference on Neuroethics and  Fourth Conference of the Italian Society for Neuroethics (SINe) to be held May 17-19 in Padua, Italy. The meeting theme is "Mind, Brain, and Body. A Neuroethical Perspective." Abstracts of 300 words or less, written in Italian or English, must be received by April 6 through the online system.

The National Advisory Mental Health Council is holding an open policy session Thursday, February 9 for the mental health research and advocacy communities to learn about the current programs and priorities of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health. The meeting will be held 9:00am–12:45pm EST (US) in Bethesda, MD and available via videocast.


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

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

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. 

Julia Gottwald and Barbara Sahakian of the University of Cambridge wrote an article titled "Brain scanners allow scientists to ‘read minds’ – could they now enable a ‘Big Brother’ future?" in The Conversation, published February 9.

Dylan Roskams-Edris, Stacey Anderson-Redick, Zelma H Kiss and Judy Illes wrote an article titled "Situating brain regions among patent rights and moral risks" in Nature Biotechnology, published February 8.

A Reuters article, titled "Paralyzed patients communicate thoughts via brain-computer interface" and published January 31, discusses a new device that measures the brain's blood oxygen levels and enables communication by deciphering the thoughts of patients who are totally paralyzed and unable to talk.

The December issue of the Neuroethics journal, published by Springer, includes several articles from INS members.

Nita Farahany, Duke Law School, was interviewed for an article on "Neurorelevance" for the blog In Search of Refinement: Reflections of an Ideas Prospector, published December 5, 2016.

Chris Deubert, I. Glenn Cohen, and Holly Fernandez Lynch of the Football Players Health Study at Harvard University wrote a report titled "Protecting and Promoting the Health of NFL Players: Legal and Ethical Analysis and Recommendations," published November 2016.