INS Members Headline Neurotechnology Conference in Toronto
Several INS Board members are contributing their expertise to our upcoming conference in Toronto on ' Neurotechnology for High-Consequence Communication and Decision-Making.' The conference on June 5 will include insights from:

  • Judy Illes, University of British Columbia, who will serve as conference co-chair with Tom Ladd, Cognixion, and moderate a session that features a talk on clinical neurosurgery by Nir Lipsman, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Joseph J. Fins, Weill Cornell Medical College, who will provide a response to a talk on 'The Internet of Minds' by Tom Ladd
  • Hank Greely, Stanford University, who will moderate a session featuring a talk by Jennifer Chandler, University of Ottawa, on 'Legally-Significant Communication – Consent, Harmful Speech and Witnesses'
This 1-day conference provides a unique opportunity for practitioners from many professions to convene and learn from each other.

"Scientists, ethicists, clinicians, and legal scholars need to come together with industry leaders to discuss neurotechnology that may enable people to communicate in ways previously unimaginable. The potential is profound, as are the risks, if we do not give all careful consideration." attests conference co-chair and INS Past President Judy Illes.
Italian Neuroethics Conference
May 15-17; Milan, Italy

The program for the 3-day annual meeting of the Italian Society for Neuroethics, May 15-17 in Milan, has been released. Themed The Future of Neuroethics, the meeting features a wide range of paper presentation panels, lectures and discussions, including:

  • 'New Frontiers of the Concept of Brain Death and the New Technologies Available' – Adrian M. Owen, Western University (Canada) and Carlo Ferrarese, University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy)
  • 'The Impact of Neuroscience on Society: The Neuroethics of "Smart Drugs"' – Barbara Sahakian, University of Cambridge (UK)
  • 'The Ethics and Politics of Nudging' – Francesco Guala, University of Milan (Italy)
  • 'Free Will and Neuroscience: On Generalizing, Consciousness, Souls, and Restrictivism' – Alfred Mele, Florida State University (USA)
  • '“What Makes Us Human”: The Challenge Ahead' – Arleen L. Salles, Uppsala University (Sweden)
  • 'Cognitive and non Cognitive Skills in Higher Education' – Raffaella Rumiati, SISSA, Trieste (Italy)
  • 'Motivational Enhancement and Praiseworthiness' – Julian Savulescu, University of Oxford (UK) 

The INS worked with the Italian Society for Neuroethics to develop this year's program and several members are contributing as speakers and moderators. We hope you can attend! Check out the program for complete list of contributors and topics.
April 23; Online – This presentation, hosted by the IEEE TechEthics Conversation Series, addresses the role of engineers and others have in developing technology for the benefit of humanity. For example: to what extent do engineers have a responsibility to create solutions focused on social good?

April 23-24; Washington, DC, USA – The Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous Systems Disorders will host a public workshop bringing together experts and stakeholders from academia, government, industry, and nonprofit organizations to explore approaches for advancing the development of gene-targeted therapies for central nervous system disorders.
April 28; Vancouver, BC, Canada – The 5th installment of Baba Brinkman's guide series, 'Rap Guide to Consciousness,' is part rap concert, part stand-up comedy, and part Ted Talk—a new kind of theater.

May 2; Cambridge, UK – Expert panelists from academia, the pharmaceutical industry, medicine, and government will speak about their work as it relates to cannabinoids and the brain. Panelists include David Potter, GW Pharmaceuticals; Priya Devendran; Anglia Ruskin University; Yewande Okuleye, University of Leicester; and Sagnik Bhattacharyya, King’s College London. The discussion will be chaired by Elaine Snell, INS COO.

May 2; Cambridge, MA, USA – The Radcliffe Institue for Advanced Study at Harvard University is hosting a lecture with Mu-ming Poo, founding director the Institute of Neuroscience at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences. The event will explore the use of gene-editing tools, such as CRISPR, in efforts to develop a macaque monkey behavioral model for studying self-consciousness.

May 8-10; Munich, Germany – Registration is now open and free of charge.

May 18-19; London, UK
June 5; Toronto, Canada – INS members get a 20% discount!
June 19-21; Paris, France

September 7-10; Copenhagen, Denmark; The future of CNS treatments

September 21-25; Daegu, Korea

September 26-27; Graz, Austria

October 3-5; Athens, Greece
Investigators Meeting and State of the BRAIN Initiative – As part of the fifth annual BRAIN Initiative Investigators Meeting, April 11-13 in Washington DC, the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director BRAIN Initiative Working Group 2.0 released a draft report on the current state of the BRAIN Initiative, including opportunities for keeping pace with the evolving scientific landscape and to ensure BRAIN Initiative research is of the utmost value to the public it intends to serve. The Advisory Committee has issued a request for information and will review all feedback received by May 15. A draft of the BRAIN Neuroethics Subgroup’s roadmap is expected to be released for public comment soon.
Call for Abstracts – 2019 INS Annual Meeting
Call for Essays – 2019 Neuroethics Essay Contest
NIH Funded Research – U.S. National Institutes of Health; Open until May 13

National Science Foundation Applications – National Science Foundation; Preliminary proposals are due June 14; full proposals are due December 13

Call for Chapter Submissions – INS member Dr. Michael Nestor and Dr. Richard Wilson are accepting 5,000–8,000 word submission by July 1 for inclusion The Anticipatory Biomedical Ethics of The Use of CRISPR in Humans (Springer). The goal of the book is to bring together scientists and philosophers to explore potential biomedical ethics or policy pitfalls that potentially exist via the use of CRISPR in humans. For more information contact Dr. Nestor (
PhD Position – The University of British Columbia, Department of Medicine – Neurology in Vancouver, Canada is looking for a graduate student to joint a dynamic research team focused on issues related to brain health, technology, and patient experience. The position is based out of the the University of British Columbia and the BC Children's and Women's Hospital. The position with work closely with the principal investigator of Neuroscience, Engagement and Smart Tech Lab and other members to co-develop technology to support brain health across the lifespan. Applications accepted until position filled.

Research Assistant in Neuroethics – Weill Institute for Neuroscience; San Francisco; CA, USA
Clinical Ethics Fellowship – Children's Minnesota; Minneapolis, MN, USA
Postdoctoral Fellowship – Neuroethics Canada; Vancouver, Canada
Postdoctoral Fellowships and Full-time Research Coordinator – Pragmatic Health Ethics Research Unit; Montréal, Canada
Share your organization's open positions, calls, and other opportunities with INS members and the neuroethics community. Submit to staff for consideration (
Researchers Revive Cellular Activity, Slow Brain Cell Death in Decapitated Pigs
Researchers have demonstrated that the cellular functions of an intact pig brain can be revived four hours after decapitation by pumping an oxygenated synthetic blood—containing nutrients as well as other substances to tackle processes that lead to cell death—through the organ. Research lead Nenad Sestan of Yale University, who participated on a 2018 INS Annual Meeting panel on brain surrogates, said in a press conference about the research: "Previously, findings have shown that in basically minutes, the cells undergo a process of cell death. What we’re showing is that the process of cell death is a gradual step-wise process, and some of those processes can be either postponed, preserved, or even reversed.”
Restoration of brain circulation and cellular functions hours post-mortem – Zvonimir Vrselja, Stefano G. Daniele, John Silbereis, Francesca Talpo, Yury M. Morozov, André M. M. Sousa, Brian S. Tanaka, Mario Skarica, Mihovil Pletikos, Navjot Kaur, Zhen W. Zhuang, Zhao Liu, Rafeed Alkawadri, Albert J. Sinusas, Stephen R. Latham, Stephen G. Waxman and Nenad Sestan (Nature)
Scientists Partly Restore Activity in Dead-Pig Brains – Although neuroscientists can study lab-grown neurons or peer at thin slices of brain tissue, these capture nothing of the three-dimensional intricacy that makes the brain, the brain. By restoring some activity to postmortem pig brains, Sestan’s team has created a much better proxy for the real thing. The irony, of course, is that “the better the proxy, the sharper the ethical dilemmas,” Nita Farahany says. – Ed Yong (The Atlantic)
Scientists: We kept pig brains alive 10 hours after death. Bioethicists: "Holy shit.” – What Sestan and his team are claiming is they kept the individual cells of the brain alive, hours after the pig was killed. But those cells, for the most part, weren’t talking to one another. – Brian Resnick (Vox)
Part-revived pig brains raise slew of ethical quandaries – "Because of the possibilities it opens up, the Brain Ex study highlights potential limitations in the current regulations for animals used in research. Most fundamentally, in our view, it throws into question long-standing assumptions about what makes an animal—or a human—alive." "The researchers did what they could, and probably more than many would have done, to ensure that they were acting appropriately in a void of ethical analysis on the issue. Now is the time to fill that void." – Nita A. Farahany, Henry T. Greely and Charles M. Giattino (Nature)

The Science Behind Mental Clarity Diet – Andrew Zaleski (Element)

Electrical Stimulation Makes Old Brains Act Young Again – Stephanie Pappas (LiveScience)

The Sorrows of Psychiatry – Alison Abbott (Nature)
Volume 12, Issue 1 April 2019

Even after a decade of debate, the promises and perils of moral enhancements still attract considerable interest in academia and beyond. While much has been written and said about a range of pertinent issues—from empirical feasibility to conceptual issues to the 'freedom to fall'—the aim of the papers collected in this special issue of Neuroethics is to emphasize a somewhat neglected problem, namely the political dimension of moral enhancement. Editors: Norbert Paulo and Christoph Bublitz
Toward a Less Anthropocentric Neuroethics – L. Syd M Johnson and Hanna Maslen

The Alzheimer's Puzzle – Philip Boffey (Dana Foundation)

Multicosts of Multitasking – Kevin Madore & Anthony Wagner (Cerebrum)

Cerebellum Good for More Than Moving You Around – Carl Sherman (Dana Foundation)
Did you publish a paper or attend an event that your neuroethics colleagues should know about? Send us a link, summary, or reflection article and we'll share with your neuroethics colleagues. Submit to staff for consideration (
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