2021 INS Annual Meeting
Online Conference
November 4-5

Depictions of Disability and Neurotechnology

Thursday, November 4, 2021
7:30p EDT / 23:30 UTC

Human subjects research on invasive neurotechnologies often relies on people with disabilities who are seen as both the future first beneficiaries of neurotech, and first on the neurotechnology frontier. Yet the benefits of neurotech are proposed in ways that lean on ableist goals of 'fixing disability' or 'improving quality of life.' This session would compare how disability is depicted in media with the actual lives disabled people.


  • Jasmine E. Harris, University of Pennsylvania (United States)
  • Katherine E. Standefer, Author of 'Lightning Flowers'
  • The Cyborg Jillian Weise, Poet, video artist, and disability rights activist (United States)
  • Moderator: Tim Brown, University of Washington (United States)


  • Prepared question prompts for speakers (20 minutes)
  • Open discussion guided by attendee questions (40 minutes)


Registered meeting attendees can participate in this live discussion on Zoom. Register to attend this activity and all sessions included in the schedule.

Live: Thursday, November 4, 7:30p EDT / 23:30 UTC (calendar)

Zoom webinar link will be posted here. To access the webinar, participants will enter a password and their email address (the one used to register for the meeting). Passwords will be distributed to registered participants one week before the meeting begins.


A recording of this virtual session is expected to be available for meeting attendees approximately two weeks after the meeting concludes.


  • Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life. Katherine E. Standefer. Little, Brown Spark, 2020. 
  • The Road to Maroseranana: An Excerpt of Lightning Flowers. Katherine E. Standefer. Terrain.org; September 22, 2021.
  • At the University Inn. Katherine E. Standefer. Kenyon Review Online, Sept/Oct 2019.
  • 'Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life,' by Katherine E. Standefer: An Excerpt. The New York Times, Book Review; November 10, 2020.


Jasmine E. Harris

University of Pennsylvania

Image of Katherine E. Standefer
Katherine E. Standefer

Author of 'Lightening Flowers'

Katherine Standefer is the author of 'Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life' (Little, Brown Spark 2020), which is currently a Finalist for the 2021 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction and which was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice/Staff Pick. Her previous work appeared in 'The Best American Essays 2016'. She lives on a mesa in New Mexico with her chickens.

The Cyborg Jillian Weise

Poet, video artist, and disability rights activist


Image of Tim Brown
Tim Brown

University of Washington

Dr. Brown is a Postdoctoral Research Associate working in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Washington, working primarily on a National Institutes of Health–funded project on the effect of neurotechnologies on user’s experiences of agency. Further, he is long-time contributor to the Center for Neurotechnology's (CNT) Neuroethics Thrust where he supports efforts to teach neuroethics to young investigators, catalyze ethics investigations through interdisciplinary collaborations, and promote the field of neuroethics through public outreach. More generally, Dr. Brown’s work lies at the intersection of biomedical ethics, philosophy of technology, (black/latinx/queer) feminism, and aesthetics.