FS2017: Neuroethics

With the unprecedented progress in the basic sciences of mind & brain and in the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders, comes an expanding role of neuroscience and neurotechnology in our society. These advancements also raise novel ethical challenges.
What light does neuroscience shed on how human beings make moral judgments? Might neuroscience show that we cannot be responsible for our behaviors? What are the ethical limits of neurosurgery? Is it permissible for healthy people to enhance their cognition with drugs? What is the ethical use of assistive technologies among older adults with dementia? For what purposes should it be allowed to use brain stimulation and what implications arise from its use? Do we have a right to brain privacy which protects our private thoughts? Should defense agencies fund neurotechnology research for military purposes? What neuroscientific evidence should count as proof in courts? Do neuroscientists have a duty to data sharing? Is there any moral difference between natural and Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
These are just a few examples of ethical questions raised by advances in neuroscience and neurotechnology in our modern society.
This Spring semester’s Contemporary Debates Seminar brings together a series of lectures that will explore and examine a broad range of current ethical issues and challenges posed by advances in neuroscience and neurotechnology.
The seminar will provide both theoretical perspectives and practical approaches with the aim of delineating the current neuroethical landscape. There will be eight presentations with a short class discussion following each one. The lectures will feature leading international experts in the field.

Contemporary Debates: Neuroethics

Monday, 12:15 – 13:45 Universitätsspital, Spitalstrasse, Klinikum 1, Hörsaal 2

20.02.2017Marcello Ienca, MSc, MA, Institute for Biomedical Ethics, University of Basel”Brains, Computers and Society:  Introduction to Neuroethics”
27.02.2017Dr. Fabrice Jotterand, PhD, Institute for Biomedical Ethics, University of Basel and Medical College of Wisconsin“Neuroethics in Practice: Ethical Analysis of the Therapeutic Use of Moral Bioenhancers  and Neurostimulation Technologies”
13.03.2017Dr. med. Philipp Kellmeyer, M.D., Universitätsklinikum Freiburg/University Medical Center Freiburg, Klinik für Neurochirurgie/Department of Neurosurgery„Ethical challenges from emerging neurotechnology: Humans and intelligent devices in interaction”
03.04.2017Prof. Ralf Jox, PhD, Institute for Ethics, History and Theory of Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University München (Germany) and Lausanne University Hospital (Switzerland)“Ethical challenges in disorders of consciousness”
10.04.2017Prof. Pim Haselager, PhD, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University (The Netherlands)“Neuroimaging, brainreading and freedom of thought”
24.04.2017Prof. Jens Clausen, PhD, Ethics and Lifesciences and their Didactics, University of Education Freiburg (Germany)“Ethical challenges in neurosurgery and neuromodulation”
08.05.2017Prof. Christian Ruff, PhD, Neuroeconomics and Decision Neuroscience, Department of Economics,University of Zurich“Moral sensitivity and the neural mechanisms of ethical decision-making”
22.05.2017PD Dr. Roberto Andorno PhD, Rechtswissenschaftliches Institut, University of Zurich“Neurolaw"


 Monday, 12:15 – 13:45 Universitätsspital, Spitalstrasse, Klinikum 1, Hörsaal 2

Marcello Ienca
Bernoullistrasse 28
4056 Basel

Tel: +41 61 207 02 03
Fax: +41 61 207 17 80