Neuroethics News

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INS joins the BRAIN Initiative Alliance

June 7, 2021

The International Neuroethics Society (INS) is a new affiliate of the BRAIN Initiative Alliance. Members and affiliates in the Alliance promote and communicate about research and advancements that come out of BRAIN Initiative projects.

Announced June 7, the addition of the INS and American Brain Coalition to the Alliance is in part "in recognition of the importance of the education, outreach, and ethical practices needed to fund, complete, and disseminate these new technologies," the release states.

Regarding the a relationship, INS President Nita Farahany offered: "Becoming a member of the BRAIN Initiative Alliance gives the INS the opportunity to further integrate ethical principles into neuroscience research and progress and provides more recognition to the essential work being done by neuroethicists around the world."


Promoting diversity and inclusion in neuroscience and neuroethics

Olivia P. Matshabane. EBioMedicine, 67 (2021) 103359.

Karen Rommelfanger, Anna Wexler featured in neurotech podcast

INS board members Karen Rommelfanger and Anna Wexler spoke on the seventh episode of the Neurotech Pub podcast run by Paradromics. The episode, titled "Neurotechnology Startups and the E Word," discussed the relationship of ethicists with technology companies. Rommelfanger noted: "Companies have a compliance officer...but an ethicist really has to sit in the gray zone." – Guest: Karen Rommelfanger / Host: Matt Angle (Neurotech Pub)

2020 INS Annual Meeting Top Abstracts

Rated on the basis of merit, novelty and interest, 25 abstracts from last year's INS Annual Meeting were published online in the American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience (AJOB-N). Abstracts awarded by INS were also included in the compilation. All INS members receive a discounted subscription to AJOB-N.


Postdoctoral Scholar in Engaged Ethics

The Schreyer Honors College and the Rock Ethics Institute at Pennsylvania State University (PSU) are accepting applications for a 12-month postdoctoral scholar to contribute to both ethics curriculum and research. One of four potential projects will take place under the supervision of Dr. Laura Cabrera with the Neuroethics Lab. Scholars working with this lab will explore issues surrounding neurotechnologies and electroceutical interventions. Those interested should have earned a PhD by the appointment date and apply by June 15.

Ethicist in Clinical Ethics & Policy

North York General Hospital (NYGH) and Markham Stouffvile Hospital are seeking a temporary full-time ethicist in Toronto, Canada. This individual will develop and maintain an ethics program addressing issues in these two locations. The position will report to the Director of the Health Ethics Alliance at Sunnybrook, the Chief Medical Executive at NYGH, and the Director of Interprofessional Practice at Markham Stouffville. Those interested in applying should hold a graduate degree in bioethics or the equivalent education/experience.


Call for papers

A collaboration between the Northwestern, Penn and Stanford Law Schools, the Fourth Junior Faculty Forum for Law and STEM seeks submissions from junior faculty interested in presenting papers at the forum. Papers can investigate a variety of topics related to the intersection of law and any STEM field, including neuroscience. To submit an essay, authors must be teaching at a U.S. school of higher education. The deadline for submissions is Friday, June 18.

Call for abstracts

Society for Neuroscience will be accepting abstracts from July 6-15 for Neuroscience 2021, the Society's 50th annual meeting. Authors should prepare their original research submissions according to the posted rules. Active membership in SfN is required.

SfN Trainee Professional Development Award

Undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows are invited to apply for Society for Neuroscience's Trainee Professional Development Award, which recognizes scientific merit and excellence in research. Recipients receive special access to professional development opportunities. Those interested must submit an abstract to Neuroscience 2021. The application period will open July 19 and is scheduled to conclude August 9.

Call for abstracts

Following the announcement of their 2022 meetings, the 16th World Congress of Bioethics (WCB) and the Congress of the Feminist Approaches to Bioethics (FAB) are seeking abstract submissions. Among the topics accepted by WCB is the impact of new technologies, including advances in neuroscience. The deadline for WCB abstracts is July 30, and the deadline for FAB abstracts is September 30. 


ABC and INS Join the BIA: Reducing the Burden of Brain Disorders through Education, Outreach, and Ethical Practices – June 7, 2021

Calls released for abstracts and essays for 2021 annual meeting – March 4, 2021

Top student essays on ethical issues in brain science selected in the Neuroethics Essay Contest – September 10, 2020


Neuroethics Webinar Series; Doctor drawing blood from a patient as part of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study; 1932; National Archives Atlanta, GA (U.S. government);
Scientific Oppression, Biological Reductionism, and the Future of Neurotechnology

February 25, 2021

The INS Diversity & Inclusion Task Force organized a stimulating 90-minute discussion with panelists sharing their unique perspectives on what role neurotechnology and technologists could play in exacerbating or thwarting scientific oppression. Speakers included:

  • Jasmine Kwasa, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Olivia Matshabane, University of Cape Town
  • Francis Shen, University of Minnesota
  • Tim Brown, University of Washington (moderator)
Author: Chrissshe / Wikimedia Commons (; with modifications
Choose Your Own Device: Do-It-Yourself Neuromodulation Panel Discussion

January 27, 2021

The INS Emerging Issues Task Force held a 1-hour virtual panel discussion on do-it-yourself (DIY) neurotechnology. The panel exploreed the current scope of DIY devices that can record or stimulate the brain and the ethical implications of using such technology without medical supervision. Speakers included:

  • Marcello Ienca, ETH Zurich
  • Karola Kreitmair, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Anna Wexler, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ishan Dasgupta, University of Washington (moderator)
Neuroethics wrapped rainbow background
Neuroethics Wrapped

We asked our members to reflect on the noteworthy neuroethics-themed films, shows, media, and art that they appreciated in 2020. Here’s the collection of all the compelling, inspiring and interesting suggestions we received. Thanks to all the INS members and partners who contributed to the conversation.