Programs: Science and Policy
AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program
Past Projects - Science and the Law
As scientists have gained more insight to the inner workings of the human brain, there is an increased potential to apply science to such matters as deception, mental health, memory, and addiction. Through a series of judicial seminars and an invitational workshop, AAAS has explored the ways in which neuroscience may impact the legal system.
Return to the past projects and activities archive page.
 Neuroscience and the Law Webinar Series
AAAS and the Section of Science & Technology Law of the American Bar Association are co-sponsoring a series of four webinars on neuroscience and the law. The webinars will take place on Thursdays starting May 5 and ending on June 16, 2011. Featured topics include: memory and lie detection, substance dependence, competency, and violence.
[2010-2011] The Brain on Trial
This program examined the increasingly prevalent role of neuroscience in the courtroom. Presented in the format of a "mock trial," the program was designed to investigate the relationship between neurological abnormalities and behavior, particularly criminal behavior; how scientific evidence is admitted and examined in American courts; and how neuroscience evidence and information may be used in criminal trials. The program was supported by an educational grant from Lilly USA, LLC.
 NAALJ Annual Conference
At the invitation of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary (NAALJ), the largest professional organization devoted exclusively to administrative adjudication within the executive branch of government, AAAS organized and convened a day-long program on neuroscience and the law for Judges at the association's 2010 Annual Conference in Malibu, CA on October 13, 2010.
 Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting
The first annual meeting of the Neuroethics Society was hosted by AAAS at its Washington, DC headquarters on November 13-14, 2008. Topics that were addressed include: the neuroethics of pediatric bipolar disorder, cognitive enhancement, neuroscience and policy, and the neuroethics of forensic neuroscience.
 Science and the Law: A Tale of Two Cultures
The challenges facing the courts in three areas of science and technology, neuroscience, digital technologies, and forensic sciences, were explored at a meeting on October 30, 2008, co-sponsored by AAAS and the Washington Academy of Sciences.
 Invitational Workshop
Lawyers, judges, legal scholars, philosophers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and neuroscientists gathered in September 2003 to discuss the emerging relationship between neuroscience and law.