#SupportTheReport features Neuroethics Canada’s Dr. Judy Illes!

Neuroethics Canada’s Dr. Judy Illes explains why she is participating in the #SupportTheReport campaign! You can watch the video here:

For more information on #SupportTheReport, visit: https://supportthereport.ca/


Neuroethics Canada’s Dr. Judy Illes Appointed to the Order of Canada

On December 29, 2017, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, announced 125 new appointments to the Order of Canada  We are pleased to share that Neuroethics Canada’s Dr. Judy Illes was included in this year’s appointments! 
Dr. Illes was appointed as a Member of the Order of the Canada for her contributions to the field of neurology, including pioneering research that has highlighted the ethical, social and legal implications of advances in neuroscience.
About Dr. Judy Illes
Dr. Judy Illes, Professor of Neurology and Canada Research Chair in Neuroethics at UBC, is Director of the National Core for Neuroethics at UBC, and faculty in the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at UBC and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. Dr. Illes also holds affiliate appointments in the School of Population and Public Health and the School of Journalism at UBC, and in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, USA.
A pioneer and eminent scholar in the field of neuroethics, she has made groundbreaking contributions to ethical, social, and policy challenges at the intersection of biomedical ethics and neuroscience, with a specific focus on aging and dementia, addiction and mental health, neuroimaging, stem cells, cross-cultural values, and the commercialization of health care.

She is Vice-Chair of the Internal Advisory Board of the Institute of Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction, Vice Chair of the Standing Committee on Ethics for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and an inaugural member of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Leadership Forum. Dr. Illes is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

About the Order of Canada
Established in 1967 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Canada is the cornerstone of the Canadian Honours System, and recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. The Order recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country. Since its creation, more than 6 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order. The Order of Canada’s motto is DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (They desire a better country). Her Majesty The Queen is the Sovereign of the Order, and the governor general is the chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order.

Neuroethics Canada Wins First Place at 2018 Brain Awareness Week Sticker Design Contest

Neuroethics Canada is pleased to share that our submission for the 2018 Brain Awareness Week (BAW) Sticker Design Contest won first place and will be the face of next year’s festivities!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and votes! 
You can read more about our in-house brain illustrator, Marianne Bacani, her experience on creating the winning design, and what Neuroethics Canada has planned for the 2018 BAW here:
In the meantime, make sure to follow us online through our socials (@NeuroethicsUBC) for the latest and other updates about our free open-to-the-public events for 2018 BAW and other projects!
We look forward to seeing you all at next year’s BAW celebrations!


What’s New in Stem Cell Research? From the Lab to the Clinic and Beyond

Monday, December 11, 2017
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Community Centre
2690 Larch St., Vancouver, BC, V6K 4K9

Come join us for a lively discussion with our experts about opportunities and challenges in stem cell research and treatment.

FREE ADMISSION – Everyone is welcome!
Light refreshments will be served.

RSVP now! https://goo.gl/7N9rqW


Harold Atkins, MD, FRCPC
Hematologist, Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, The Ottawa Hospital
Associate Professor of Clinical Hematology, University of Ottawa

Tania Bubela, JD, PhD
Professor and Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Fabio Rossi, MD, PhD
Director, The Biomedical Research Centre
Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia

Shelly Benjaminy, MSc
PhD Candidate, Experimental Medicine Program, University of British Columbia

Judy Illes, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS
Canada Research Chair in Neuroethics
Professor of Neurology, University of British Columbia

RSVP now! https://goo.gl/7N9rqW

GTG Community Conversations WHAT'S NEW IN STEM CELL RESEARCH Dec 11 2017

Smartphones need a redesign to improve brain function: UBC prof

Rather than improving our mental abilities, smartphones are increasingly blamed for ruining our brains. We replace valuable face-to-face social interactions with a constant virtual connection and complain that it’s harder to concentrate.

Peter Reiner, a professor at the National Core for Neuroethics at UBC, argues that our devices should be redesigned to foster healthier connections between humans and technology so we can use our brains for more challenging activities.

Can smartphones and other technologies improve brain function and make us smarter?

The short answer is yes, but not in the way that people normally think. The fact of the matter is that existing tools to enhance cognitive function don’t work very well. This is probably because our brains are already working very well and efforts to improve them are starting to bump up against the hard limits of our inherent biology.

We are suggesting that it may be time to stop trying to boost the brain from within and take advantage of the technology at our fingertips – the algorithms in our computers and smartphones. In a very palpable sense, the distinction between our brains and our devices is beginning to dissolve so much so that I’ve begun to call these tools “technologies of the extended mind.” We can best improve our cognitive abilities by capitalizing on the blending of brain and technology.

What is the potential for new technologies to improve the brain’s abilities?

The potential is huge but we need to find a way to use these technologies more wisely.

Consider this example. You are at dinner and someone mentions a movie that came out a few years ago that had wonderfully evocative music. When the question arises as to who wrote the music, how likely is it that in the next moment someone will reach for their smartphone and say, “I’ll just Google it.” Given how unremarkable such an event is today (and it is remarkable that it is unremarkable), it shows how seamlessly technology has become integrated in our lives.

The very same technologies that enhance our cognitive abilities degrade them at every turn. We have allowed our reliance upon our technologies of the extended mind to blind us to the fact that they are also damaging our cognitive health – most notably by distracting us every time they demand our attention.

If we are serious about using technology to improve our cognitive function, we need to change the design of our technologies. Today, most features of our computers and smartphones – even the ones that are seemingly offered for free – are geared towards corporate profit margins. What we need is nothing short of a revolution in IT design in which the profit objective is tied to the cognitive health of the user.

What would smartphones that improve our cognitive abilities look like?

One approach that merits further consideration is the idea of calm technology meaning devices that inform without distracting. For example, your phone might automatically go silent when it knows that you are in a meeting or sleeping unless the message is urgent.

In order to find solutions to improve our relationship with technology, we are going to need a broad group of people working on the problem. We’ll need researchers who can examine the benefits and disadvantages of technology, policymakers and behaviour scientists who can come up with creative ways to encourage best practices, and technology designers who can improve the user experience by creating devices that boost our cognitive abilities.

Reiner examines these issues in a recently published article in Nature Outlook: Cognitive Health.


This article was published on March 04, 2016 by Ms. Heather Amos (heather.amos@ubc.ca), Public Affairs, UBC
Link to post: http://news.ubc.ca/2016/03/04/smartphones-need-a-redesign-to-improve-brain-function-ubc-prof/

Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think

Scientific American

The great divide between our beliefs, our ideals, and reality.

Nicholas Fitz writes for the Scientific American on social mobility and economic inequality on recent article, Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think.

He writes, “by overemphasizing individual mobility, we ignore important social determinants of success like family inheritance, social connections, and structural discrimination.” 

Click here to read more: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/economic-inequality-it-s-far-worse-than-you-think/

A Recipe for Success or Disaster? Exploring the Role and Contribution of Work Groups and Workshops in Neuroethics

As part of the Brain Matters! Vancouver Thematic Sessions Video Podcast, we present:

A Recipe for Success or Disaster? Exploring the Role and Contribution of Work Groups and Workshops in Neuroethics
Emily Bell, Associate Researcher at the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal
Michael Burgess, Chair in Biomedical Ethics, W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia
Eric Racine, Director, Neuroethics, Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal
Charles Weijer, Canada Research Chair in Bioethics, Rotman Institute of Philosophy, Western University
Cynthia Forlini (moderator), Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research

This video presentation features the major points to the panels’ session on the role and contribution of work groups in neuroethics.

For more information, please visit: www.brainmattersvancouver.ca

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