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For several decades now, neuroscientists have used technology to produce images of the brain in action.  But what do such pictures tell us?  Should they change the way we think about personal identity and free will?  Can they reveal whether a person is capable of making moral decisions, or whether a person is telling the truth?  If so, brain imaging technology seems to hold great promise for the criminal justice system.  However, allowing brain scans to be used as evidence in trials for conviction or sentencing raises many questions about the nature of responsibility, the nature of fairness, and the public perception of science and technology.

The 2011 LSSP symposium, Ethics & the Brain, will bring to campus seven leading researchers from the fields of neuroscience, law, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and theology to discuss these issues. 

The symposium will take place on the flagship campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.  It is free and open to the university community and the public and is designed to encourage dialogue across methodologies and backgrounds.

 

Symposium Information

 

Affiliated Events


1050H Honors seminar: Ethics and the Brain
University of Missouri

Film Series
MU Museum of Art & Archaeology

  • A Clockwork Orange, February 17

Trolley problem reenactment
University of Missouri

Film series with discussion
Ragtag Cinema

  • Cold Souls, March 9
  • In Search of Memory, March 16

“Controlling Heredity: The American Eugenics Crusade 1870-1940”: University of Missouri Libraries Exhibit
Ellis Library, University of Missouri

“Visions of Transparency: The Human Body and Social Order," Ellis Library, University of Missouri

  • by Stefani Engelstein
  • opening lecture for Eugenics exhibit

Brain-research poster session
Life Sciences Center
More on poster submission...

American Society for Neurochemistry
42nd Annual Meeting

St. Louis, MO

Journalism ethics mini-conference
School of Journalism

 


For more information,
contact Stefani Engelstein at EngelsteinS@missouri.edu
or Karla Carter at Carterka@missouri.edu

Symposium SpeakersMarch 18-20, 2011

 

 

*Check back regularly for updates

1050H Honors seminar: Ethics and the Brain
University of Missouri

  • Spring semester, 2011, W 4:00-4:50
  • Taught by Ines Segert, Associate Director of the Honors College; Psychology
  • This course is designed as a companion to the 2011 Symposium. Students will read original articles from each of the speakers and will attend all symposium talks. In addition, the speakers will attend one class period, allowing the students an opportunity for direct discussion and interaction. Students will write a 5-6 page paper in which they defend or critique the use of imaging technology in the courtroom.

MU Museum of Art & Archaeology Film Series
MU Museum of Art & Archaeology

  • A Clockwork Orange — February 17, 7:00 pm in 106 Pickard Hall
    (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1971, 96 min) Based on Anthony Burgess's disturbing novel about England in the totalitarian future, Malcolm McDowell portrays Alex, a Beethoven-loving, head-bashing punk who leads his gang of droogs on ultra-violent assaults--until he is captured by authorities and subjected to nasty behavior-modification therapy

Brain-research poster session
Life Sciences Center

  • March 17, 2011, 2:00 - 4:00 pm
  • Poster exhibit will explore research being conducted at the University of Missouri on any topic in or related to neuroscience and/or cognitive neuroscience, and will feature a special emphasis on ethics.
  • Submit abstract by Feb 25

More on poster session and submission...

“Controlling Heredity: The American Eugenics Crusade 1870-1940”: University of Missouri Libraries Exhibit
Ellis Library, University of Missouri

  • March 4-30, 2011, Ellis Library Colonnade
  • This exhibit displays and interprets some of the seminal texts that embody the eugenics movement in the United States, detailing the response of the privileged to accelerated and chaotic social change. The exhibit explores two campaigns central to the eugenics movement: restriction of the immigration of the “unfit” into the United States and the forced sterilization of so-called degenerates who were American citizens. In all, over 60,000 American citizens were sterilized.

Trolley problem reenactment
University of Missouri

  • March, date TBA*
  • Students enrolled in the Neuroethics course will set up an experimental test run of the famous trolley problem in Speakers’ Circle, a central outdoor campus location. Passing students will be invited to participate in the ethical dilemma, and will be educated about outcomes and fMRI research data collected concerning the parts of the brain involved in these moral decisions

“Visions of Transparency: The Human Body and Social Order”
Ellis Library, University of Missouri

Film series with discussion
Ragtag Cinema

  • Cold Souls,with discussion led by Professor David Beversdorf (Radiology, Neurology, and Psychology) — March 9, 5:30 pm

    (dir. Sophie Barthes, 2009, 101 min.)
    Cold Souls is a metaphysical comedy set in the near future where souls are commodities which can be extracted and traded. Balancing on a tightrope between reality and fantasy, the film presents Paul Giamatti as himself, agonizing over his interpretation of the title character in Chekhov's play "Uncle Vanya." Paralyzed with anxiety, he stumbles upon a solution via an article about a high-tech company promising to alleviate suffering by deep-freezing souls. Giamatti enlists their services, intending to reinstate his soul once he survives the performance. “Darkly funny, twisty-cool existential tragicomedy, loaded with smart notions and filmed like a surrealist dream.” (Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly)

  • In Search of Memory, with discussion led by Professor Nelson Cowan (Psychology; Director, Working-Memory Laboratory) — March 16, 5:30 PM

    dir. Petra Seeger, 2009, 95 min.) "Memory is everything. Without it we are nothing," says neuroscientist Eric Kandel, winner of the Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking research on the physiology of the brain's storage of memories. IN SEARCH OF MEMORY is a compelling blend of autobiography and history that "makes a convincing connection between Kandel’s work and his life as a Jew who escaped from Vienna during World War II" (Hank Sartin), while illuminating scientific developments in our understanding of the brain's role in recording and preserving memory. “Petra Seeger's film resonates in all directions, illuminating not only the trajectory of psychology and neuroscience in the last century, but the nature of art and science, history and remembrance, work and love, inspiration and achievement. It is an unforgettable journey." (Oliver Sacks)

American Society for Neurochemistry
42nd Annual Meeting

St. Louis, Missouri

  • March 19-23, 2011
  • Plenary Speakers:
    • Hugo Bellen: Molecular Mechanisms of Vesicle Trafficking and Exocytosis
    • Maiken Nedergaard: Astrocyte Calcium Imaging and Diseases of the Central Nervous System
    • Sally Temple: Molecular and Cellular Specification of CNS Stem Cells
    • Lennart Mucke: Using Systems Biology to Tackle the Complexity of Alzheimer's Disease

Journalism ethics mini-conference
School of Journalism

  • March 20, 2011, 3:30 pm
  • This conference will focus on the contribution of neuroscience to understanding ethical decision making in the context of journalistic practice

 

Sponsors & Partners

Mizzou Advantage: Understanding and Managing Transformative and Disruptive Technologies MU Libraries
Mizzou Advantage: Media of the Future The Smith/Patterson Lecture Series, School of Journalism
Mizzou Advantage: One Health, One Medicine MU Center for Arts & Humanities
MU School of Medicine Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Group
MU School of Journalism Center for Health Ethics
MU College of Arts and Science MU Honors College
MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Ragtag Cinema
MU School of Law MU Libraries
Chancellor’s Distinguished Visitor Fund
Saturday Morning Science
Chancellor’s Fund for Excellence The Columbia Tribune
MU Office of Research MU Museum of Art & Archaeology
Bond Life Sciences Center MU Conference Office
MU Conference Office © 2010
The Sixth Annual Life Sciences & Society Symposia