Bioethics Commission releases volume one response to the BRAIN Initiative
May 21, 2014
The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) has released volume one of its two-part response to President Obama’s request related to the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, entitled Gray Matters: Integrative Approaches for Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society.
“Neuroscience has begun to make important breakthroughs, but given the complexity of the brain, we must better understand it in order to make desired progress,” said Amy Gutmann, Ph.D., Bioethics Commission Chair.
“Because research on our brains strikes at the very core of who we are, the ethical stakes of neuroscience research could not be higher.
“Ethicists and scientists should be together at the table in the earliest stages of research planning fostering a fluent two-way conversation. Too often in our nation’s past, ethical lapses in research have had tragic consequences and derailed scientific progress.”
The Bioethics Commission offered four recommendations for institutions and individuals engaged in neuroscience research, including government agencies and other funders:
- Integrate ethics early and explicitly throughout research.
- Government agencies and other research funders should initiate and support research that evaluates existing as well as innovative approaches to ethics integration.
- Integrate ethics and science through education at all levels.
- Explicitly include ethical perspectives on advisory and review bodies.