Banff: Neuroscience, Ethics, and Public Communication

Communication is the focus of our meeting this weekend at the Banff Centre. Neuroscientists, ethicists, and journalists will collaborate to explore unique modes of engaging the public in the ethics of brain science. The participants are renowned experts in their field and bring with them a world of purpose and promise.

Our preliminary research indicates that this work is long overdue. Searching the Pubmed database for articles related to neuroscience and communication resulted in a relatively small return of peer-reviewed papers on the topic. An even smaller number of these articles focused on the communication of ethics issues. By the end of this weekend we plan to add another paper to this pile with hope that more will follow.

Attendant journalists will collaborate toward the production of audio and video content for the Daily Planet website. Interviews with participants will touch on topics such as fMRI and the study of consciousness, memory erasure, and the future of stem cells. We also hope to capture the perspective of the public when we take to the streets of downtown Banff.

The event will finish with NeuroTalk: Truth, lies, ethics and neuroscience in the media, a salon hosted by one of Canada’s leading science journalists, Jay Ingram. A panel discussion including several of the participants will be open to the public and will also be broadcast on DP’s website.

And of course, I will be here to blog along the way.

Join us by posting your thoughts, ideas, comments, and concerns.