Tweeting the brain

Much is made at neuroethics conferences and in scientific journals of the broad societal implications lurking in the discoveries of neuroscience — implications for our understanding of those eternal big questions of autonomy, responsibility, identity, and just about any other topic of passionate dinner conversation.

As a few moments pause reveals, though, none of the big answers neuroethicists come up with will have those broad implications we hear about if they don’t make it to the eyes and ears of the people they’re supposed to affect — the public. And therein lies one of the less talked about issues in neuroethics: How does one communicate the neuroscientific view of the soul or of free will to a public unschooled to the ways of the BOLD response or the action potential?

In January’s issue of Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 15 science journalists, media specialists and neuroethicists — including Core director Judy Illes and intern Kevin Sauvé — lay out a proposal to improve the communication of neuroscience research by cultivating a band of media-savvy scientists to engage the public in “neurotalk.” Continue reading