Programs: Science and Policy
AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program
The Neuroscience and Society Series
2013: Arts and the Brain
2013: The Adolescent Brain
2013: Neuroscience & Law
2012: Traumatic Brain Injury
2012: The Aging Brain
The Neuroscience and Society series is a partnership between the Dana Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The first event of the series was held in June 2012. Four events have been held thus far, with two more planned for 2013.
The Arts and the Brain: What Does Your Brain See? What Does Your Brain Hear? [October 24, 2013]
When you listen to music or look at a painting, your brain is busy. Recent advances in neuroimaging allow a more sophisticated understanding of the brain processes underlying sound and vision. Speakers will address the neurobiology of how we respond to music, and how the brain processes form, symmetry, color and stereoscopic depth perception. Attendees will have an opportunity to visit a special exhibit in the AAAS art gallery and to listen to a musical performance during the reception. Visit the event page.
Neuroenhancement: Building an Improved Human Body and Mind [September 19, 2013]
Human enhancement is the notion that science and technology can be used to restore or expand cognitive and physical human capacities. It has received considerable public attention in recent years with the return of injured soldiers and the demand for prosthetic devices and with controversies surrounding the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports. This program focused on a diverse set of enhancements for mind and body, examining the science of what can be done, what might be done in the near and far future, and what should be done. The remarkable opportunities created by scientific advancements are accompanied by ethical and policy challenges that demand a broader public conversation. Visit the event page.
What Are They Thinking? Exploring the Adolescent Brain [June 12, 2013]
Advances in neuroscience have enabled researchers to learn more about how the adolescent brain functions, from the everyday behavior of teenagers to how they cope with the challenges of disease, learning problems, and social cues. Speakers at this event addressed the development of the adolescent brain, the diseases and learning difficulties that seem to correlate with adolescence, and the policy initiatives undertaken by the federal government in response. Visit the event page.
Neuroscience and the Law [April 25, 2013]
Research on the brain has shed new light on the relationship between our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. These advances have not been lost on the legal system, where they raise serious issues for the law, from matters relating to the admissibility of evidence to decisions about criminal culpability. Speakers at this event addressed what neuroscience can and cannot tell us about human behavior; the ways in which neuroscience is entering the courtroom; and the challenges this emerging knowledge poses for the trier of fact. Visit the event page.
The Science and Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury [October 23, 2012]
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has been the recent focus of many in the neuroscience research community, professional sports world and the military. Speakers at this event discussed the current state of neuroscience research on TBI in the context of sport and combat; the areas of research that seem most promising for preventing and treating TBI; and a personal account of the effects of TBI on U.S. soldiers. Visit the event page.
The Aging Brain: What's New in Brain Research, Treatment and Policy? [June 23, 2012]
As scientists continue to make advances in neuroscience, they are learning more about how the aging brain functions in health and disease. Speakers at this event discussed what we know at the basic research level; what we still need to determine; how we can apply scientific findings to the clinical setting; and how we must develop humane and effective policies nationwide as our population ages. The progress of this research will touch all of us as we age, become caretakers for family members and friends, and remain engaged citizens in helping to determine local and national policy. Visit the event page.
(page updated 11/05/2013)