In a world that is increasingly global – and increasingly engaged in neurosciences – how we educate scientists about the underlying values and ethics that drive brain research across cultural and continental divides is critical. The consequences of cultural misunderstandings are far from trivial for the scientific enterprise. Gaps in understanding lead to missed opportunities for collaboration to advance discoveries; limit our ability to broadly share results and reap the benefits of scientific findings; and result in a failure to recognize the unforeseen short- and long-term risks of research. Neuroethics has emerged as an essential tool for neuroscience serving in a horizon-scanning function to anticipate and address ethical roadblocks ahead and, ultimately, to advance and accelerate neuroscience.

The goal of the 2017 summit was to create a universal list of neuroethics questions that should be addressed in each brain project. A unique feature of our Summit compared to other similar gathering was that, while the questions themselves were universal, they were designed to be adapted and informed by the cultural values and frameworks of each country. This was successfully completed and is now being peer-reviewed as a Perspective article for Neuron. This series continues to take a very different, yet important strategy for addressing the societal and ethical implication of emerging neuroscience and neurotechnologies. As neuroscience is now a global endeavor, neuroethics must be equally prepared to address global values.

This year’s meeting is a workshop of the Neuroethics Workgroup of the International Brain Initiative (IBI). With this year’s support, we build upon critical foundation for the fields of neuroscience and neuroethics laid in our first meeting, with the potential for our discussions to inform policy and shape funding priorities for many agencies in the future. This 2018 meeting aligns with the recently formalized efforts and creation of the IBI which, in collaboration with Kavli and other key stakeholders from existing and emerging brain projects, recognized neuroethics as one of its top priorities. The Global Neuroethics Summit therefore functions as the Neuroethics Workgroup of the IBI. With this meeting, we plan to invite partners in the IBI as well as representatives from all existing and emerging large-scale national-level brain projects.

This meeting will serve as an idea incubator and a workshop. The meeting is meant to serve as an idea-incubator for scholarship, research, and curriculum as well as for community building for neuroethics in the International Brain Initiative (IBI). The meeting is a workshop for a series of papers. Neuron has commissioned a series of Neuroview papers for Neuron from this meeting.  Each of the brain projects will provide, prior to the meeting, a draft of a manuscript that discusses why and how they will integrate and implement neuroethics into their brain projects with particular recognition of the 5 questions from our first paper in Neuron.

 Goals and Deliverables

  • Facilitate a community of multidisciplinary scholars who are attuned to and inclusive of cross-cultural perspectives when engaging in neuroscience and neuroethics research and policy
  • Serve as an idea incubator for research collaborations and future implementation in the IBI and beyond
  • Generate a series of high-profile and high-impact publications that establish neuroethics priorities for research and scholarship in global neuroscience projects