Neuroscience and Responsibility

There are a wide range of ways in which neuroscience can invoke responsibility.

The identification of differences in brain structure and function among some individuals may potentially have important implications for criminal and moral responsibility in our legal system and other key social institutions.

Neuroscience research and the development of new neurotechnologies needs to be undertaken responsibly to ensure we realise its promise while mitigating unintended harms. How we structure the environment or design policies, interventions and social interactions can also influence the sorts of opportunities and behaviours that we are able to engage in.

We also need to consider who should be held responsible when things go wrong in neuroscience research or when neurotechnologies result in unexpected side-effects.

2019 Neuroscience and Society Conference

The 2019 Neuroscience and Society Conference will feature a wide range of exciting scientific, ethical, philosophical and legal lectures and discussions on the theme of  ‘Neuroscience and Responsibility’.

Confirmed international keynotes include:

  • Professor Judy Illes (Neuroethics Canada, University of British Columbia and Order of Canada)
  • Professor Jennifer Chandler (Bertram Loeb Research Chair, Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, University of Ottawa)

with more to be announced

The conference program also includes a Poster Session, as well as Panels and Sessions on the following topics:

  • Criminal responsibility
  • Moral responsibility
  • Neurointerventions in criminal contexts
  • Responsible research and innovation
  • Design and the environment
  • Individual and collective responsibility
  • Risk and responsibility

Call for abstracts

Abstract submissions are now open for presentations at the 2019 Neuroscience and Society Conference. Abstract submission deadline is 24 July 2019.

For more information view the Call for Abstracts flyer.

Free public event

A free public debate on the theme of Neuroscience and Responsibilitywill be held on the evening of 4 December 2019 at the State Library of Victoria, and hosted by Jon Faine (ABC Radio Mornings). More details will be announced in due course.

For enquiries, please email Adrian Carter or Jamie Walvisch. For details on how to submit an abstract, please see here.


Neuroscience and Society 2019 is an initiative of the Australian Neuroethics Network and is made possible by the generous support of the Law, Health and Wellbeing Group at the Monash University Faculty of Law, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function and the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health.