International Neuroethics Society
|Over 400 (2014)|
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. The society aims to promote the development and responsible action of neuroscience through better understanding of its capabilities and consequences.
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. 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. 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.
The founding President of the INS was Professor Steven Hyman, who served as President from 2006 to 2014. 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.
The Neuroethics Society was renamed the INS in 2011, prior to the Society's 2011 Annual Meeting, to reflect its international membership and mission.
In February 2014, Professor Barbara Sahakian became the second President of INS, serving a two-year term. Sahakian is one of the founding members of the INS. 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.
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. 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.
The INS is a non-profit organisation and was formed by a grant from the Dana Foundation. 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. The Executive Director of the INS is Karen Graham. The society has its headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
In May 2007, the INS sponsored a forum on the ethics of neuroenhancement in Washington, D.C., which was hosted by the Dana Foundation. This was followed by the first Annual Meeting of the INS in 2008, also held in Washington, D.C. This two-day meeting, held just prior to the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Annual meeting, was attended by over 200 people. 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.
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, the Wellcome Trust and the Greenwall Foundation, with the latter two providing travel grants. The 2014 Annual Meeting was covered by the Naked Scientists in a series of three podcasts supported by the Wellcome Trust. The dates and locations of the INS meetings are as follows:
|2008||Washington, D.C.||14–15 November|||
|2010||San Diego, CA||11–12 November|||
|2011||Washington, D.C.||10–11 November|||
|2012||New Orleans, LA||11–12 November|||
|2013||San Diego, CA||7–8 November|||
|2014||Washington, D.C.||13–14 November|||
|2015||Chicago, IL||15–16 October|||
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.
Response to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
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. 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. Members of the Presidential Commission attended the INS Annual Meeting in November 2014 to further discuss the ethical issues surrounding neuroscience research.
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- Executive Order 13521 - Establishing the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, November 24, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 228, 74 FR 62671
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