Monday, November 13, 2006

Cognitive Liberty in an Age of Neurotechnology

Top Bioethicists. Physicians & Psychologists to speak at UN Panel to discuss "Cognitive Liberty in an Age of Neurotechnology"

Contact: Ana Lita (212) 687-3324 |

IHEU - Appignani Center for Bioethics to host panel, Friday, Dec. 1, 2006

NEW YORK – On Friday, Dec. 1, 2006 a panel of leading bioethicists and physicians will discuss cognitive liberty at the United Nations, to be held on the 2nd floor of 777 UN Plaza in New York City, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Growing knowledge in the neurosciences, enhanced by exponential advances in pharmacology and neurotechnologies that monitor and manipulate the brain, is rapidly moving brain research and clinical applications beyond the scope of purely medical use.

These emerging neurotechnologies offer expanded intelligence, memory, and senses, giving us greater ability to understand and control our own minds. But they might also expand the avenues for possible coercion and invasion of mental privacy.

What, then, is the state of cognitive liberty today? What steps might be necessary to protect cognitive liberty, mental privacy and freedom of choice in light of these neurotechnologies?

Speakers include:

James Hughes Ph.D.
is the author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future. Dr. Hughes teaches Health Policy at Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, and serves as Trinity's Associate Director of Institutional Research and Planning. He is the Executive Director of the World Transhumanist Association and its affiliated Institute for Emerging Technologies. Dr. Hughes will moderate the panel. Home page:

Elizabeth Phelps Ph.D. is currently a Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University. Her laboratory has earned widespread acclaim for its groundbreaking research on how the human brain processes emotion, particularly as it
relates to learning, memory and decision making. Dr. Phelps is the recipient of the 21st Century Scientist Award from the James S. McDonnell Foundation and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Home page:

John P. Morgan M.D. is a physician and professor of pharmacology at the City University of New York Medical School. Dr. Morgan has published approximately 100 articles, book chapters and books, largely focused on the clinical pharmacology of psychoactive drugs. His latest book, Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts (The Lindesmith Center, New York, 1997) reviews the latest
scientific and medical research and debunks the common marijuana myths.
Home page:

Bradley Lewis MD, PhD teaches cultural studies at the Gallatin School at New York University, with affiliated appointments in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and the Department of Psychiatry. He is the author of numerous articles published in academic journals, is the cultural studies editor for The Journal of Medical Humanities, and author of Postpsychiatry: Theorizing Psychiatry, Prozac, and DSM.
Home Page:

The IHEU-Appignani Center for Bioethics promotes a human-centered approach to bioethical issues. For information, visit:

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