The brain is special because of the meaning and assumptions about what can be revealed through neuroscience. Neuroscience has become a national funding priority around the globe with a growing cohort of large-scale research initiatives who endeavor to understand the scientific basis of feelings, thinking, and ultimately the mind. Our ever-expanding global neuroscience landscape requires that we, as a society and as scientists, consider the underlying values and ethics that drive brain research across culture and continents. Scientists need to grasp the consequences of not having cultural awareness: missed opportunities for collaboration, limited ability to share and reap benefits of advances and discoveries, and critically a risk of failure to anticipate short- and long-term risks of neuroscience research.
The Global Neuroethics Summit is an activity of the Neuroethics Workgroup of the International Brain Initiative. The Neuroethics Workgroup of the IBI is co-chaired by Drs. Sung-Jin Jeong of the Korea Brain Research Institute and Karen Rommelfanger of the Emory University Center for Ethics comprised of members of each of the existing and emerging large-scale brain research initiatives. It aims to leverage the fellowship of the IBI and to use an intentional culturally aware lens to complete rapid deliverables in the near (within one year) and short-term (within two years).
This neuroethics special issue of Neuron represents “the first of its kind in a high-impact neuroscience journal” marking the “cultural shift within the neuroscientific community, demonstrating the necessity and value of the integration of neuroethics into the neuroscientific enterprise.” (Rommelfanger et al, 2019)
With this issue, leadership from of each the brain projects in both science and ethics created a manuscript for their respective brain initiatives that discusses why and how they will integrate neuroethics into their brain projects. As a guide, authors utilized the five Neuroethics Question for Neuroscientists (NeQN) created in a collaboration of IBI and published in Neuron in Fall 2018.
Unique features of the Global Neuroethics Summit and the Neuroethics Workgroup of the IBI is that its work committed to cultural awareness and builds upon the momentum of the fellowship of the IBI. Neuroscience is now a global endeavor and neuroethics must be equally prepared to address global values. The 2019 Global Neuroethics Summit will focus on neuroethics engagement and will be held in Daegu, South Korea.
Special Issue on Neuroethics
Individual papers that are part of the special issue: