Sponsoring Organizations


Center for Neurotechnology Studies
Potomac Institute for Policy Studies


Institute for Science and Human Values




Associate Sponsor

University of New Mexico






Click here to view the recorded event webcast

Neuroscience and Neuroethics:
Considering Nature, Nurture and Norms

In what ways can neuroscience inform contemporary discussions about human nature, the human condition, and human relationships? Moreover, what might the neurosciences provide to such discussion - and the actions that arise from them - in the next decades? Indeed, brain science is poised to address these questions, and while providing some answers, may actually foster other, and more profound issues about what we are, what we know and do not know, and the ways we regard and treat ourselves and other species. The focus of this, the Fourth Neuroscience: Ethics, Legal and Social Issues (NELSI) Symposium is to take a pragmatic view of the capabilities, limitations, potential and problems of neuroscience in describing, defining and shaping the human condition and predicament. While of high scholarly quality, the aim is to create a forum of multi-disciplinary discourse that is open and accessible to professionals and students from the sciences and humanities, as well as the general public.

"Neuroscience and Neuroethics: Considering Nature, Nurture and Norms"

Topics to be addressed include:

  • Free will, narrative and personal responsibility
  • Brain development and the burdens of modernity
  • The nature of mind, will and action
  • Neural substrates and mechanisms of values
  • Gender, neuroscience and a neuroethics of standpoint
  • Neuroscience of decision-making
  • Neuroimaging and the values of neuroscience
  • The social brain, and brain-science as a social force
  • The new ethics of neuroethics
  • Neuroscience and neurotechnology as demiurge, and the meta-ethical nature of neuroethics

Featured speakers include:

Gregory Berns PhD
Emory University
"Neural Mechanisms of Values"

William Casebeer PhD
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
"Will, Narrative and Personal Responsibility"

Patricia Churchland PhD
University of California San Diego
"What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality"

James Giordano PhD
Center for Neurotechnology Studies, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
University of New Mexico
University of Oxford

Symposium Chair
"Neuroethics as Meta-ethics: Avoiding Icarus' Folly"

Eric Racine PhD
Neuroethics Research Unit , Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM)
"Neuroimaging and the Values of Neuroscience"

John Shook PhD
University of Buffalo
"The New Ethics of Neuroethics"

and a special introduction by
Paul Kurtz, PhD
Institute for Science and Human Values


8AM Continental Breakfast

Program begins at 8:30AM

Lunch will be served

Wine and cheese reception to follow from 5:00PM - 6:00PM



Note: special room rates may be available for out of town attendees.