2017 Annual Meeting
Washington, DC, USA
November 9-10

Meeting Location

American Association for the Advancement of Science
1200 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005

(Entrance at 12th Street & H Street)


image of AAAS building from New York Ave NW


Meeting Program

Themed ‘Honouring our History, Forging our Future,’ the 2017 Annual Meeting of the International Neuroethics Society will gather a diverse group of scholars, scientists, clinicians, and professionals dedicated to the responsible use of advances in brain science. Join old friends and new colleagues for an intellectually stimulating and dynamic conference that pays homage to the first 15 years of neuroethics and highlights critical topics that will shape its future.


Thursday, November 9


Plenary Lecture (1:00–1:30 PM)

Rémi Quirion

Quebec Chief Science Officer

  • Introduction by Ariel Cascio, Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal


Roundtable Discussion (1:30–2:45 PM)

Neuroscience, Communication, and Public Engagement

Every day, newspapers, television, radio and social media carry stories about the brain. Advances in neuroscience, mental health, new technology, neurodegeneration provide a rich resource for journalists and broadcasters. There is no doubt that people are fascinated by the brain in health and disease. As brain research finds its way into the classroom, office, courts and the home, how can experts stimulate public discussion and debate about the social, legal and ethical aspects and implications of brain research? What are the opportunities for scientists to communicate with the public? And what are the responsibilities today's experts have to get their message across in a meaningful way? For those just starting out in their careers, how can they get involved? Alan Leshner will lead a discussion with: medical ethicist Joseph J. Fins, who will examine how neuroethics can inform our consideration of the American Psychiatric Association's Goldwater Rule; psychologist Tali Sharot, who will describe biases in how people seek and interpret information; and writer Ed Yong, who will discuss how science journalism differs from science communication and why the distinction matters.

  • Joseph J. Fins, Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Tali Sharot, University College London
  • Ed Yong, The Atlantic
  • Moderated by Alan Leshner, AAAS Emeritus
  • Introduction by Elaine Snell, INS


Break (2:45–3:00 PM)


Panel Discussion (3:00–4:00 PM)

Ambassador Session: Reflecting on our International Roots and Planning our Collaborative Futures

The International Ambassador Program aims to facilitate greater global representation in the Society by recruiting leading scholars and thought leaders in neuroethics to act as liaisons between their respective local neuroethics efforts and the INS. Convening these leaders has become especially important as countries across the globe have made a clear priority to embed neuroethics scholarship and research in these projects or to emphasize its role in parallel. The program and annual meeting activities celebrate INS's commitment to international dialogue on critical issues at the intersection of neuroscience, society, and ethics. Panelists for this year's session include representatives from national-level funded project for neuroscience, as well as embedded ethicists within those projects, and will discuss how neuroethics questions addressed within each project reflect the cultural context of the countries in which they are situated. The session will serve as an idea incubator and include a group discussion for deeper, actionable collaboration across projects and across institutions.  

  • Karin Blumer, Ethics Advisory Board, Human Brain Project (European Union)
  • Jinni Jeong, Korea Brain Initiative (South Korea)
  • Richard Johnson, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (United States)
  • Caroline Montojo, The Kavli Foundation (International)
  • Khara Ramos, Neuroethics Division of the BRAIN Multi-Council Working Group, NIH (United States)
  • Arleen Salles, Human Brain Project (European Union)
  • Moderator: Karen Rommelfanger, Emory University (United States)
  • Co-Moderator: Ariel Cascio, Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (Canada)


4:00–4:45 PM

Business Meeting

  • Judy Illes, INS President


Break (4:45–5:00 PM)


Public Program (5:00–7:00 PM)

The Neuroscience of Truth and Lying

A panel discussion organized in collaboration with the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This event is open to the public.

  • (Speakers to be announced)


7:00–8:00 PM

Evening Reception


Reservation (8:30 PM)

Affinity Group Dinners



Friday, November 10



Poster Judging

During Breakfast, judges will be evaluating poster presentations. Posters must be installed by 7:45 a.m. to be eligible for prizes, and investigators should be available during breakfast to give a 2-minute presentation for the judges. Contact INS staff to volunteer to serve as a judge.


8:30–8:45 AM

Welcome Address

  • Judy Illes, INS President
  • Cynthia Kubu, INS Program Committee Co-Chair


Plenary Lecture (8:45–9:15 AM)

Arthur Caplan

New York University Langone Medical Center

  • Introduction by Rachel Wurzman, University of Pennsylvania


Roundtable Discussion (9:15–10:30 AM)

The Brain in Context

A multidisciplinary discussion of the brain in its physical and social environment. Brains exist not in static isolation, but in a constant state of neurodevelopment. Brain development is impacted by environmental factors, and the context of lived experience is embodied through the brain. The speakers on this panel will consider the impact of physical and social environments on the human brain, and the impact of the human brain on those environments in turn. In this way they explore how brains and societies impact each other, and how brains develop across the lifecycle in a range of social environments. Moriah Thompson will focus on prenatal neural development, fetal stress programming, and childhood and adolescence; Martha Farah will discuss research on brain development in the socioeconomic context, and the question of whether and how this research can guide social policy; and Hervé Chneiweiss will examine the impact for children of the use of screens in gaming and education.

  • Moriah Thomason, Wayne State University
  • Martha Farah, University of Pennsylvania
  • Hervé Chneiweiss, Ecole des Neurosciences de Paris
  • Moderated by Husseini Manji, Johnson & Johnson
  • Introduction by Marcello Ienca, University of Basel


Break (10:30–11:00 AM)


Roundtable Discussion (11:00 AM–12:15 PM)

Legal Responsibility, Agency, and Addiction Neuroethics: Reconciling Frameworks for Policymaking

The speakers on this panel will bring together medical, neurophilosophical, and judicial viewpoints to explore how neurological and biopsychosocial frameworks for addiction relate to legal constructs and social policies that assign responsibility. Understanding addiction as a brain-based disease presents unique challenges to the criminal justice system, which must assign responsibility and punishment for what amounts to the hallmark symptoms of an illness. Yet real-world alternatives to mandatory incarceration for drug-related criminal offenses, from drug courts that mandate treatment to full decriminalization, are also neuroethically fraught. For example, from both clinical and societal perspectives, it is problematic to absolve individuals of the consequences of their behavior; similarly, compulsory submission to treatment may violate patient autonomy and compromise treatment efficacy. Ultimately, the issue of addiction sits at the nexus of questions about moral agency, volition, autonomy, responsibility, and the distribution of justice under various social policies. Rachel Wurzman will discuss medical, neurobiological, social, and spiritual perspectives for addiction, treatment, and their implications for social policy. Jessica Birket will canvass the philosophical arguments concerning the role of agency for persons seeking to recover from addiction. Stephen Morse will highlight the legal arguments regarding addiction and individual responsibility, loss of control, and volitional impairment.

  • Rachel Wurzman, University of Pennsylvania Medical School
  • Jessica Birkett, University of Melbourne
  • Stephen J. Morse, University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Moderated by Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, TU Dresden
  • Introduction by Edith Brignoni Pérez, Georgetown University


Lunch / Networking (12:15 AM–1:15 PM)

Mentoring Roundtables

During lunch, the INS Program and Student/Postdoc committees are hosting a mentoring roundtable activity. Mentors will lead an open discussion and provide insights and advice about writing, grant applications, and jobs / career tracks in the field of neuroethics. If you would like to participate as a mentor or mentee, please indicate your availability when registering for the meeting.


Concurrent PANEL Session II (1:15 PM–2:30 PM, MAIN AUDITORIUM)

Ethics of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology

  • Frederic Gilbert, University of Washington
  • Merlin Bittlinger, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Anna Wexler, University of Pennsylvania
  • Moderated by Tom Buller, Illinois State University


Concurrent PANEL Session I (1:15 PM–2:30 PM, RAVELLE ROOM)

Neuroscience of the Law

  • Andreas Kuersten, University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • N. Sinclair-House, University of Sussex
  • Lyn Gaudet, MINDSET
  • Moderated by Molly Crockett, University of Oxford


Rising Star Plenary Lecture (2:30–3:00 PM)

Karola Kreitmair

Stanford University

  • Introduction by Christine Grady, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center


3:00–3:30 PM

Flash Poster Presentations

  • Matthew L Baum, Harvard Medical School
  • Laura Specker Sullivan, Harvard Medical School
  • Marcello Ienca, University of Basel
  • Cynthia Forlini, University of Sydney
  • Jennifer C. Sarrett, Emory University
  • Dylan Roskams-Edris, University of Calgary / University of British Columbia
  • Introductions by Veljko Dubljevic, North Carolina State University


3:30–4:30 PM

Poster Session and Networking

Please view the call for abstracts for additional details.


Break (4:30–4:45 PM)


Fred Kavli Distinguished Neuroethics Lecture (4:45–5:30 PM)

Patricia Churchland

University of California, San Diego, Emeritus

  • Introduction by Philipp Kellmeyer, University of Freiburg Medical Center


5:30–5:45 PM

Awards Presentation


5:45-7:00 PM

Closing Reception



Attendees must register in advance or onsite to participate in this event.
Discounted rates are available to those who register early.