In a nutshell: A report on the OECD workshop ‘Neurotechnology and Society: Strengthening Responsible Innovation in Brain Science’, Washington, DC, 15- 16 September, 2016.

How can neuroscience and society work together to maximise the benefits of new brain research? That was the question concerning delegates at a recent OECD meeting. Rachel Nowak of the ARC Centre for Integrative Brain Function at Monash University reports from the workshop in this opinion piece in The Australian (Paywall).

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The Essentials

  • brain research and neurotechnology development are rapidly advancing, raising social, ethical and legal questions
  • representatives from international brain initiatives, ethicists, regulators, and brain-tech companies met in DC to discuss how to ensure society gets what it wants and needs from neurotech and brain research
  • strategies discussed included foresight exercises; science-with-society engagement programs; embedding ethicists within brain research projects; and making ethical consideration a condition of research funding
  • the goal is to shift the culture of brain research towards one that is more responsive to society’s needs, without damaging the quality of the research