A Report from the President
Greetings! I promised you occasional reports on our Society and enough has happened that this seems like a good time for one. I want to lead off with some exciting news about a rapidly upcoming INS event in England and then fill you in on some of the activities at the INS. 

As I said in my first report, I am eager to get more regional INS meetings, giving opportunities for members to get together apart from the one annual meeting, which has always been tied to the Society for Neuroscience meetings (and hence always in the fall in the United States). I am happy to announce that we will be co-sponsoring such a meeting all day Friday, May 4 at Oxford along with the Wellcome Centre for Ethics + Society. Stay tuned for further details. We certainly hope this will be a good opportunity for our European members (including, until Brexit is finished, our UK members) to get involved in an INS meeting! (I will actually be spending April, May, and June this year teaching at Stanford in Oxford.) I will be participating in a few other neuroethics-related events in Europe while there and hope to see many existing—and new—Eastern Hemisphere INS members. 

We are actively looking for other possible co-sponsors for INS meetings around the world. My current vision is to have at least one substantial meeting with INS involvement every quarter. If you are interested in hosting such a meeting, please contact us!

Now on to more administrative INS business. Since my last report, we’ve had a couple of (conference call) meetings of the Society’s Executive Committee and one conference call meeting of the Board of the Directors. The Executive Committee, which comprises the President and six members of the Board of Directors, has been delegated many of the powers of 15-person Board of Directors but meets (electronically) more frequently, typically every month. The Board meets physically at the annual meeting and electronically typically three other times a year. 

One piece of Board news is that Mark Frankel, a long-time member of our Board of Directors, has told us that he is enjoying his retirement from the AAAS so much that he wants to be even more retired. He plans not to seek another term as a member of our Board when his current three-year term ends at this year’s annual meeting and he asked to be replaced as a member of the Executive Committee. I will have more to say about Mark at the annual meeting, but the Board elected Professor Jennifer Chandler of the University of Ottawa to take over Mark’s seat on that Committee immediately. Her addition makes the committee’s membership Jennifer, Nita Farahany, Joe Fins, Steve Hyman, Ilina Singh, Paul Root Wolpe, and me. I am very grateful to them for their willingness to help the Society—and make room on their busy calendars for more conference calls! 

While I’m talking about Society governance, a major accomplishment last year, under Judy Illes, was the completion of our “Governance Terms of Reference,” a document adopted by the Board that sets out procedures and committee structures. We recently realized that this document was not generally available; it is now posted on the website's Governance page, listed under 'About.' 

November’s annual meeting program is taking (a good) shape. Without giving away any spoilers, I can say that the Program Committee, co-chaired by Steve Hyman and Ariel Cascio, is well along in creating a meeting on the theme “Cutting Edge Neuroscience, Cutting Edge Neuroethics.” Remember: we are meeting this year on Thursday and Friday, November 1 and 2, in San Diego, California, just before the Society of Neuroscience meeting. The Program Committee may be the hardest assignment at the INS and I am very grateful to Steve, Ariel, and all the other members. 

As discussed more below, the Nominating Committee has been brought to full strength. The new Governance Terms of Reference set term lengths, and term limits, for many of our committee positions, leading to more turnover and providing more opportunities for new people to serve. The Nominating Committee will have a busy year. This year, like every year, five of the 15 seats on the Board of Directors have their (renewable) terms expire and nominating people to serve in those positions is a major job for the Committee, which both consults with the membership and winnows through the possibilities to offer great options for new and continuing Board members. In addition, this year the Nominating Committee will propose candidates for the position of President Elect. This person will be chosen before the annual meeting and will serve as President Elect for one year before taking the reins at the conclusion of our 2019 annual meeting. (The Society’s president is limited to one two-year term.) 

The Communications, Outreach, and Membership committee has a new co-chair, as board member Mo Costandi has agreed to serve in that role, together with Elaine Snell, our chief operating officer. I have asked that committee to focus its attention this year especially on the Society’s virtual presence to see if we can communicate better through social media and the web. 

At the same time, in keeping with my goal for our membership—500 members by the 2019 annual meeting, a 2/3 increase—we have created a Membership Task Force. Jennifer Chandler has agreed to chair this important task force and fellow board member Tom Insel has also agreed to serve. Jennifer will bring a focus on attracting more people interested in law and neuroscience, while Tom will particularly help with recruiting new members from industry. If you are interested in serving on the task force, send us an email (administrator@neuroethicssociety.org), as we’re looking for more members on the Task Force. 

I have asked the Governance Committee, chaired by Nita Farahany, to look into three issues in particular and to present the Board of Directors with suggestions about them. First, I want their ideas on ways to increase the opportunities for members to take part in the activities and governance of the Society, including, as one possibility, more use of advisory ballots like the one we used for the Nominating Committee. Second, I have asked them to consider whether we should create some kind of senior advisory board as a way for the Society to continue to benefit from the help of those of us old-timers who have been involved for many years while making room for new faces in some of the Society’s important positions. And third, I have asked the Committee to investigate the potential for a new staff position, someone who would direct volunteers or interns in pursuing substantive work on neuroethics, akin to the role served by the executive director in President Obama’s Presidential Commission on the Study of Bioethical Issues. I have no strong views on any of these questions at this point, but these are among the changes that members of the Board have suggested in the past and they are worth exploring. 

The Society is moving on other fronts as well but, without intending to slight any of those other efforts—and the members working on them—this message is already too long. So I’ll end with one last request—please keep up your own involvement in the INS, and help us get more people involved as members. Now to the meat (or equally attractive non-meat equivalent) of the newsletter!

Hank Greely
Take a moment today to introduce the INS to your colleagues and students who are interested in neuroethics and the responsible use of advances in brain science.
Nominating Committee: Members and Newest Additions
The Nominating Committee has three members chosen from the Board of Directors and five chosen from the general membership. From a pool of stellar candidates, the Society membership in a very tight contest voted for, and the INS Board of Directors appointed, Molly Crockett and Cynthia Forlini to serve 2-year terms on the Nominating Committee. In addition, the Board selected board member Debra Mathews to replace Nita Farahany, who had served the permitted two consecutive terms. Many thanks to those who provided nominations and to all who voted.


  • Joseph J. Fins (Chair), Weill Cornell Medical College, USA
  • Matthew L. Baum, Harvard Medical School, USA
  • Jennifer Chandler, University of Ottawa, Canada
  • William Cheshire, Mayo Clinic, USA
  • Samia Hurst-Majno, University of Geneva – UNIGE, Switzerland
  • Debra JH Mathews, Johns Hopkins University, USA
Molly Crockett
Dr. Molly Crockett is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yale University (USA). Dr. Crockett’s lab investigates the psychological and neural mechanisms of morality, altruism and economic decision-making. Her research integrates perspectives from social psychology, neuroscience, behavioral economics, and philosophy, and employs a range of methods including behavioral experiments, computational modeling, brain imaging, and pharmacology. Her interests include the neurobiology of self-deception and moral hypocrisy; the development of trust in healthy people and psychiatric disorders; moral outrage and political polarization; and how technology transforms social emotions.
Cynthia Forlini
Cynthia Forlini, PhD is an Australia Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) Fellow at Sydney Health Ethics (Sydney School of Public Health) of the University of Sydney (Australia). Her work explores the neuroethical issues that arise as we redefine the boundaries between maintenance of cognitive performance and its enhancement through the use of novel neurotechnologies. Cynthia’s interest in the Nominating Committee is inspired by a commitment to strengthening the international and interdisciplinary bonds that scaffolded the rapid emergence and establishment of neuroethics as an influential field of study during a time of complex and pressing issues in neuroscience.
Developing New Partnerships and Collaboration Opportunities
The INS is developing and seeking to develop new partnerships with organizations who have areas of mutual interest, such as with groups involved in technology, computer systems, and engineering. INS leadership is specifically looking to contribute input and neuroethics expertise to partners' projects and reports, and, when appropriate, designate a representative active in both fields to serve as a liaison between the organizations. 
One example is an emerging partnership with IEEE, the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. They have expressed a desire to collaborate with the INS and more actively explore the ethical implications of developments in technology that could affect the brain; evidenced by their efforts with the IEEE Brain initiative.

Those interested in recommending a potential partnership opportunity and/or serving as a designated representative—for the IEEE or another organization—should contact Elaine Snell ( esnell@neuroethicssociety.org). Please include a brief proposal and a description of your expertise.
Final Opportunity to Propose Neuroethics Research Initiatives to the National Academies of Sciences
The Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced the launch of a decadal survey to be taken among experts in social and behavioral sciences (SBS). The purpose of the survey is to identify SBS opportunities relevant to national security.

An ad hoc committee of experts has been tasked with engaging scholars throughout the SBS in order to identify and discuss scientific opportunities that have the potential to contribute to national security and positively impact the work of intelligence analysts. This is a unique circumstance for INS members to help make issues in neuroethics a clear priority for the next decade of SBS research.

Take advantage of this opportunity by submitting a proposal by March 16.
Call for Proposals – Proposals are now being accepted for the ASBH 20th Annual Conference, themed 'The Future is Now: Bioethics and Humanities Re-Imagine an Uncertain World.' Submissions are due March 5.
Get Involved in Brain Awareness Week – Brain Awareness Week is the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Activities are limited only by the organizers’ imaginations. This year's campaign is only a couple weeks away, taking place around the globe March 12-18. Be sure to let your neuroethics colleagues know if you are planning to participate!
AI Now's Initial Recommendations for Automation Accountability in NYCLast month the New York City Council announced the formation of the task force on "Automated Decision Systems" to examine the use of AI and algorithmic systems and provide recommendations for policymakers. Artificial Intelligence Now has proactively released a set of recommendations for the task force to use titled, " Algorithmic Impact Assessments: Toward Accountable Automation in NYC Public Agencies ." The recommendations will help t he task force decide how each city agency should be accountable for using algorithms and other advanced computing techniques to make important decisions. 
Call for SfN 2018 Abstracts – Participate in the global exchange of ideas at Neuroscience 2018 to be held November 3-7 in San Diego. The 48th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) offers an unparalleled opportunity to share in the joys of scientific discovery with colleagues from around the world—including the field's leading minds. Activate your SfN membership now to be eligible to present your science in an annual meeting poster session or nanosymposium. The abstract submission period opens April 12 and closes May 3.
SfN Open-Access Virtual Conference – Scientific rigor is fundamental to two key goals of the scientific endeavor: knowledge creation and the translation of discoveries into new therapies. Research must be well-designed and implemented, accessible, and reproducible to reap the benefits of new discoveries. SfN has partnered with the NIH and neuroscientists around the globe in order to host a live Neuronline virtual conference to help enhance scientific rigor in the laboratory. The conference, titled "Enhancing Rigor and Transparency in Neuroscience," will be live April 10 (9am–5pm) and made available on-demand for those who register in advance. 
New Research Consortium – An international research consortium has been launched to study the role of individual autonomy in neuroethics. The main group's aim is to assess how individual autonomy is to be understood in the context of recent research and to determine whether enhancement uses of neuroscientific knowledge are less compatible with autonomy than therapeutic uses. The relationship between individual autonomy and other central neuroethical values will also be examined. The group is being coordinated by Professor Juha Räikkä, University of Turku (Finland), and collaborating with Jennifer Chandler, University of Ottawa (Canada), and Kai Vogeley, University Hospital Cologne (Germany). For more information, contact Juha Räikkä ( jraikka@utu.fi).
#SupportTheReport – Canada’s Minister of Science, the honourable Kirsty Duncan, has recently commissioned the creation of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review, also known as the Naylor report. In lieu of this, the Canadian government has commissioned the production of an exceptional document—the Review of Federal Support for Fundamental Science—which gives a very clear assessment of the funding situation in Canada. INS Past President Judy Illes has recently released a statement, highlighted in the Neuroethics Canada Blog, discussing the importance of supporting the report.
Assistant Professor in Applied Ethics – The University of Twente is offering a position of assistant professor in applied ethics with a (future) emphasis on technology; in particular: ethics of robotics or IT and artificial intelligence or medical ethics and technology. Successful applicants will have the chance to teach ethics as part of the 2-year masters program in Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society and teach professional and applied ethics and other areas of philosophy for bachelor and master programs in engineering and social science. Applications are due March 8. 
Postdoctoral Research Associate in Cognitive Neuroscience – The University of Oxford is seeking a highly motivated and dynamic postdoctoral researcher to join a team of scientists and clinicians in the Cognitive Neurology Group. The team is led by Professor Masud Husain and hosts a wide range of research associated with decision-making, motivation and working memory in healthy people and patients with neurological disorders. The post is available for 3 years funded by the Wellcome Trust. Applications are due March 9.
Chancellor's Fellowships in Data-Driven Innovation – The University of Edinburgh's College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine are investing in a further cohort of next generation research innovation leaders who use data science within their work with a particular interest in population health, informatics, regenerative medicine, cancer, neuroscience, reproductive health, cardiovascular disease, genetics and genomics, inflammation, and clinical trials. Applications are due March 12.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Responding to Crises in Science with New Models of Practice and Organization – The Institute for Society and Genetics (ISG) at the University of California at Los Angeles invites applications for a postdoctoral fellow position beginning July 1. The successful candidate will work on recent projects, organizations, and reforms seeking to improve the robustness and reliability of biomedical and behavioral science by tracing examples of contemporary controversies surrounding, for example, the reproducibility crisis, post-publication peer review, and “predatory” publishing. Applications are due March 12.
Bioethics Fellowship – Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics; Applications are due March 19
Postdoctoral Research Scholars Program in Bioethics – Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics; Applications are due March 30
The Ethical Design of Intelligent Robots – 'Formulated to "advance the science and engineering of both human and machine intelligence," the project aims "to discover the foundations of human intelligence and drive the development of technological tools that can positively influence virtually every aspect of society." The kicker? MIT IQ not only exists to develop these futuristic technologies, but it also seeks to "investigate the social and ethical implications of advanced analytical and predictive tools."' – Sunidhi Ramesh
One Track Moral Enhancement – "By adopting a folk concept of justice, we become able to make judgments about whether something falls under that concept. We become able to observe certain actions or even certain individuals as conforming to the folk concept of justice. For example, we interpret a person giving money to a homeless individual as just. We perceive certain events, such as an older lady being mugged, as unjust." – Nada Gligorov
The Intrinsic Activity of the Brain and Its Relation to Levels and Disorders of Consciousness – Michele Farisco, Steven Laureys and Katinka Evers (Mind and Matter)
The ethical relevance of the unconscious – Michele Farisco and Kathinka Evers (Philosophy Ethics and Humanities in Medicine)
 Mind and Rights: Neuroscience, Philosophy, and the Foundations of Legal JusticeMatthias Mahlmann ( Law, Reason, and Emotion , Chapter 5)
Person-Oriented Research Ethics: Integrating Relational and Everyday Ethics in Research – M. Ariel Cascio and Eric Racine (Accountability in Research)
Responsible AI requires stronger privacy protections and inclusive democratic governance – Ariane Quintal, Matthew Sample and Eric Racine (Montreal Declaration for a Responsible Development of AI)
Neural development: 'Enhancing' human cognition – Sian Lewis (Nature Reviews Neuroscience)
Neuroblame? – Stephen Rainey (Practical Ethics)
Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals – The article discusses newly created nanowires which have the ability to "create a small electrical current when struck by light" and "trigger neurons to fire electrical signals." – University of Chicago (ScienceDaily)
You can love the brain and football, too – "Some in the public, especially worried parents, seem to think that every player who puts on a JV football jersey is going to get a concussion. But the evidence suggests otherwise." ... "This is not to say that there aren’t risks — there are, and the risks may be understated by current research tools. But the general public, as well as some in the media and legislatures, likely overestimate the risks." – Francis Shen (Star Tribune)
'Moneysupermarket for mental health': could the future of treatment be digital? – "Will Tanner is building a web hub for those who care for the mentally distressed...The bewildered sufferer will get guidance on treatments, counsellors, self-help communities, apps, peer support and literature." – Mark Rice-Oxley (The Guardian)
This Neuroscientist Uses Art to Fight Hate – "If intersectional feminism has managed to escape your grasp, then look no further than Hyphen-Labs to better understand the concept. This international collective of women of colour is using art and emerging technology to combat inequality. Their latest project, NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism, is a virtual reality installation that puts users in the body of a black woman at a hair salon." – Amirah Mercer (Vice)
Can Closed-Loop Brain Stimulation Improve Memory? – Marina Chicurel (Alzforum)
How brain science found its way into business school – Seb Murray (Financial Times)
What's Worse for Your Brain — Alcohol or Marijuana? – "Researchers found that chronic alcohol use is linked to decreases in the brain's gray matter... [and] to declines in the integrity of the brain's white matter... Cannabis use, on the other hand, was not associated with either gray- or white-matter declines." – Stephanie Pappas (Live Science)
March 13; Vancouver, BC, Canada 
During Brain Awareness Week, INS Board Member Jennifer A. Chandler, University of Ottawa, will give the Annual Neuroethics Distinguished Lecture, hosted by Neuroethics Canada. Comments will be provided by INS member Hervé Chneiweiss and INS Board Member Joseph J. Fins. This is a free public lecture.
March 12-13, 2018; Vancouver, BC, Canada
 Defining Death: Organ transplantation and the 50-year legacy of the Harvard report on brain death
April 11-13; Boston, MA, USA
April 13-14, 2018; Bethlehem, PA, USA
May 16-18; Milano, Italy
BCIs: Not Getting Lost in Translation
May 21-25; Pacific Grove, CaA, USA
June 3-9; Bertinoro, Italy
Human Enhancement: Bioethical Challenges of Emerging Technologies
June 9-13; Rome, Italy
Neuropsychopharmacology: Meeting Global Challenges with Global Innovation
June 16-19; Wien, Austria
June 26-30; Montréal, QB, Canada
June 27-29; Paris, France
July 7-11; Berlin, Germany
The  International Neuroethics Society  an interdisciplinary group of scholars, scientists, clinicians, and other professionals who share an interest in the social, legal, ethical and policy implications of advances in neuroscience. Our mission is to encourage and inspire research and dialogue on the responsible use of advances in brain science. Join today!