International Neuroethics Society

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
International Neuroethics Society
Founded 2006
Focus Neuroscience
  • P.O. Box 34252, Bethesda, MD 20827
Over 400 (2014)
Key people
Barbara J Sahakian, President
Steve Hyman, Past-President
Judy Illes, President-Elect

The International Neuroethics Society (INS) is a professional organisation that studies the social, legal, ethical and policy implications of advances in neuroscience.[1] The society aims to promote the development and responsible action of neuroscience through better understanding of its capabilities and consequences.[2]


The INS was formed as the Neuroethics Society in May 2006 in Asilomar, California by a multidisciplinary group of 13 members, including neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers, bioethicists and lawyers.[3][4][5] This group formed the INS following the first meeting solely devoted to neuroethics held in San Francisco in 2002, entitled 'Neuroethics: Mapping the Field'. This meeting was co-hosted by Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and sponsored by the Dana Foundation.[6] This event prompted the attending and future founders of the INS to meet again and discuss the creation of a society devoted to neuroethics. The formation of the Society was formally announced in July 2006.[7]

The founding President of the INS was Professor Steven Hyman, who served as President from 2006 to 2014.[4][8] Hyman stated that the role of the Society was to study the issues related to the nervous system that are not neatly contained within traditional bioethics, as well as to bridge the gap between advances in neuroscience and the world of policy and ethics.[9]

The Neuroethics Society was renamed the INS in 2011, prior to the Society's 2011 Annual Meeting, to reflect its international membership and mission.[10]

In February 2014, Professor Barbara Sahakian became the second President of INS, serving a two-year term.[11] Sahakian is one of the founding members of the INS.[12] In 2015, the INS Governing Board announced Professor Judy Illes had been voted President-Elect to succeed Sahakian as the next President of INS. Illes will take office in February 2016 and serve a two-year term.[13]

The official journal of the INS is the American Journal of Bioethics-Neuroscience (AJOB-Neuroscience), which has Professor Paul Root Wolpe as its Editor-in-Chief.[14][15] AJOB-Neuroscience launched in 2007 as a section of the American Journal of Bioethics and became an independent journal in 2010, publishing four issues a year.[16]


The INS is an international organisation, with over 375 members.[17] Membership is open to anyone with an interest in neuroethics, including students, for whom there is a discounted rate.[18]


The INS is a non-profit organisation and was formed by a grant from the Dana Foundation.[4][7] The INS is run by a Governing Board, which consists of 15 members. 7 of these members (including the President) serve on an Executive Committee.[19] The Executive Director of the INS is Karen Graham.[20] The society has its headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.[21]

Annual meeting[edit]

In May 2007, the INS sponsored a forum on the ethics of neuroenhancement in Washington, D.C., which was hosted by the Dana Foundation.[2] This was followed by the first Annual Meeting of the INS in 2008, also held in Washington, D.C.[22] This two-day meeting, held just prior to the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Annual meeting, was attended by over 200 people.[23][24] There were over 28 presentations, delivered by neuroethicists from across the world, including the University of Tokyo, the University of Melbourne and University of Rome Tor Vergata.[25]

Since 2008, the INS has continued to hold its Annual Meeting as a satellite of the SfN Annual Meeting. The meetings include poster sessions, panel discussions and presentations and are supported by the Dana Foundation,[26] the Wellcome Trust[27] and the Greenwall Foundation, with the latter two providing travel grants.[28] The 2014 Annual Meeting was covered by the Naked Scientists in a series of three podcasts supported by the Wellcome Trust.[29][30] The dates and locations of the INS meetings are as follows:

Year Location Dates Reference
2008 Washington, D.C. 14–15 November [22]
2010 San Diego, CA 11–12 November [31]
2011 Washington, D.C. 10–11 November [32]
2012 New Orleans, LA 11–12 November [10]
2013 San Diego, CA 7–8 November [33]
2014 Washington, D.C. 13–14 November [34]
2015 Chicago, IL 15–16 October [35]

In addition to the Annual Meetings, the INS recently co-presented The William Safire Seminar on Neuroethics at the 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum of Neuroscience, in association with the European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB). This seminar, held in Milan, Italy in July 2014, was presented by Barbara Sahakian and included the participants Pierre Magistretti, Itzhak Fried, Petra Huppi and Vincent Walsh.[36][37]

Response to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues[edit]

In 2014, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, which advises the President of the United States on bioethical issues arising from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology, asked for public comment on the ethical considerations of neuroscience research and the application of neuroscience research findings.[38][39] In response, the INS listed the top 12 areas of importance for consideration by the Commission, which were published in the Journal of Law and the Biosciences. The INS detailed the top 5 important areas that will have an ethical impact on society as the Human Brain Projects (both the UK and USA versions), human enhancement (the use of 'smart drugs' by healthy people), neurotechnology, responsibility and the law and mental health and brain disorders.[17] Members of the Presidential Commission attended the INS Annual Meeting in November 2014 to further discuss the ethical issues surrounding neuroscience research.[40]


  1. ^ "Neurogaming: What's Neuroscience and Ethics Got To Do With It?". The Center for Ethics in Science and Technology. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Eastman, Peggy. "The Ethics of Neuroenhancement". Neurology Today. 7 (14): 21–22. doi:10.1097/01.NT.0000284715.49307.e0. 
  3. ^ Carl III, W. J. (2007). "Brains, bodies, belief and behaviour". In Henderson, C. P. Faith, science, and the future. New York, NY.: CrossCurrents Press. p. 63. ISBN 9780974701325. 
  4. ^ a b c "Illes helps launch neuroethics society". Stanford University. Stanford Report. 12 July 2006. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Greely, H. (26 October 2007). "On Neuroethics". Science. 318 (5850): 533–533. doi:10.1126/science.1150557. 
  6. ^ Wolpe, Paul Root (2010). "Welcome to the New, Independent, AJOB Neuroscience". AJOB Neuroscience. 1 (1): 1–2. doi:10.1080/21507740903520208. 
  7. ^ a b Read, Cynthia A. (1 July 2006). "Neuroethics Society Launched". The Dana Foundation. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "Steven E. Hyman Bio". Broad Institute. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  9. ^ Mehta, Aalok (7 October 2008). "Neuroethics Q& A with Steven Hyman: What is Neuroethics?". The Dana Foundation. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Patterson, Michael M. (September 2012). "Editor's Column" (PDF). Kopf Carrier (75). David Kopf Instruments. p. 6. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Professor Barbara Sahakian elected President of the International Neuroethics Society". Cambridge Neuroscience. 12 August 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Barbara Sahakian's Profile". University of Oxford Practical Ethics. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "INS Elects Judy Illes to Serve as President". International Neuroethics Society. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  14. ^ Illes, Judy (2009). "Neurologisms". The American Journal of Bioethics. 9 (9): 1. doi:10.1080/15265160903192557. 
  15. ^ Aggarwal, NK; Ford, E (2013). "The neuroethics and neurolaw of brain injury". Behavioral Sciences & the Law. 31 (6): 789–802. doi:10.1002/bsl.2086. PMID 24123245. 
  16. ^ Conrad, E. C.; De Vries, R. (2012). "Interpreting the short history of neuroethics". In Pickersgill, M.; Van Keulen, I. Sociological Reflections on the Neurosciences. Bingley, U.K.: Emerald. ISBN 1780526326. 
  17. ^ a b "Ethical considerations of neuroscience research and the application of neuroscience research findings for the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues". Journal of Law and the Biosciences: 1–6. 2014. doi:10.1093/jlb/lsu014. 
  18. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". International Neuroethics Society. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "Governance". International Neuroethics Society. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  20. ^ "NeuroPolicy Meeting (20 May 2014) - Speaker Bio's". AAAS. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  21. ^ Egolf, Donald B. (2012). Human communication and the brain. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books. p. 148. ISBN 9780739139653. 
  22. ^ a b Penttila, Nicky (15 November 2008). "Blogging from the Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting 2008". The Dana Foundation. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  23. ^ Penttila, Nicky (29 May 2014). "From the Archives: Neuroethics". Dana Foundation Blog. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  24. ^ Rugnetta, Michael (21 November 2008). "Neuroethics Comes of Age". Science Progress. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  25. ^ "Presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Neuroethics Society: An Index of Online Abstracts Available at". The American Journal of Bioethics. 9 (1): 57–58. 2009. doi:10.1080/15265160802617910. 
  26. ^ "Sponsors of the International Neuroethics Society". International Neuroethics Society. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  27. ^ "International Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting 2014 - Wellcome Trust Grants". British Neuroscience Association. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  28. ^ "2008 Annual Neuroethics Society Meeting". International Neuroethics Society. Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  29. ^ "Robots in Society". The Naked Scientists. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  30. ^ Lane, Earl (25 November 2014). "Neuroscience's Future Includes Medical Advances and Ethical Quandaries". AAAS. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  31. ^ "2010 Neuroethics Society Meeting Archive". International Neuroethics Society. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  32. ^ "International Neuroethics Society Conference 2011". The Oxford Centre for Neuroethics. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  33. ^ "2013 International Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting". University of British Columbia. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  34. ^ Ott, Chelsea (27 August 2014). "International Neuroethics Society 2014 Annual Meeting". Dana Foundation Blog. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  35. ^ "2015 INS Annual Meeting: Call for Abstracts International Neuroethics Society". Petrie-Flom Center, Harvard Law School. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  36. ^ "William Safire Seminar on Neuroethics" (PDF). FENS Forum of Neuroscience 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  37. ^ Costandi, Moheb (14 July 2014). "How Far Should Brain Researchers Go?". The Dana Foundation. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  38. ^ Executive Order 13521 - Establishing the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, November 24, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 228, 74 FR 62671
  39. ^ Hertz, Gideon (27 March 2014). "How the Bioethics Commission Works and the Importance of Public Imput". The Blog of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  40. ^ Kittle, Alannah (21 November 2014). "The Bioethics Commission's Neuro Double-Header". The Blog of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 

External links[edit]