News Archive
9.26.12
International Neuroethics Society Meeting

The International Neuroethics Society will hold its 2012 Annual Meeting on October 11th and 12th in New Orleans. Link to conference website


2.13.12
Social Neuroscience Emerges

The Dana Foundation has published an article titled "Social Neuroscience: How a Multidisciplinary Field Is Uncovering the Biology of Human Interactions" written by John T. Cacioppo and Stephanie Ortigue. Link to article


1.9.12
Student Lawyer Article

In the January 2012 issue of Student Lawyer, a publication of the American Bar Association, the cover article "Schools Respond to Shifts in Legal Landscape" comments on the Neuroscience and Law Program. Link to article


11.1.11
2012 Bioethics Conference: The Moral Brain

The NYU Center for Bioethics, Duke Kenan Institute for Ethics, Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies will hold a two part conference March 30th through April 1st, 2012. Link to website


11.1.11
INS 2011 Meeting

The International Neuroethics Society will hold its 2011 Annual Meeting on November 10th and 11th at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. Link to website


9.14.11
Capital Times Article "Criminal Minds"

Wisconsin's Capital Times reports on the Neuroscience and Law Program. Link to article


8.17.11
WPR Interview

Ronald Kalil and Pilar Ossorio discuss the Neuroscience and Law Program in an interview on Wisconsin Public Radio. Link to audio file


8.8.11
"Groups Call for Scientists to Engage the Body Politic"

The National Academy of Sciences new Science Ambassador Program and Scientists and Engineers for America are calling upon scientists to engage the public. Link to story


7.27.11
State Bar Profiles Dual-Degree Program

The State Bar of Wisconsin comments on the Neuroscience and Public Policy Program's dual-degree in law and neuroscience. Link to story


7.15.11
NIH Bioethics Fellowships

The NIH Clinical Center announces the availability of pre- and postdoctoral fellows in bioethics. Link to website


5.3.11
A Dual Degree Program in Neuroscience and Law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Recent advances in neuroscience have called into question many of the assumptions that underlie aspects of our legal system. For example, beliefs about the nature of race and gender discrimination, about the voluntariness of some criminal behavior, and about young adults’ decision making capacities are being reexamined. In court, lawyers are introducing evidence of brain trauma or brain disorders as grounds for mitigating criminal penalties, and they are using evidence from developmental neuroscience to argue for particular custody arrangements in family law cases. Courts are confronting the question of whether to admit results from brain imaging as evidence of lying, and law enforcement professionals are considering using such technology for screening and surveillance. Neuroimaging and other new neuro-technologies, such as brain implantation for therapeutic purposes, may influence legal determinations of competence, and may play a role in end-of-life decision making. In coming years, it can be expected that neuroscience will play an increasingly important role in helping to inform legal processes and decision making.

However, despite the national and international interest in activity at the intersection between neuroscience and the law, there have been very few opportunities in the country to educate students in neuroscience and in the law. To address this need, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has established an integrated Dual Degree Program in Neuroscience and Law that offers students the opportunity to earn a Ph.D. degree in neuroscience and a J.D. degree in law. The Dual Degree Program will train neuroscientists who also are skilled in the law, and prepare them to address the many important legal, scientific and public policy issues that bridge neuroscience and law.

The Neuroscience and Law Program will be administered by the Neuroscience and Public Policy (N&PP) Program and will enroll its first class in the fall of 2012. For more detailed information about the Dual Degree Program, please see Program-Overview.


3.2.11
Joint U.S.A.-U.K. Scientific Forum on Neuroscience and the Law

The second Raymond and Beverly Sackler U.S.A.-U.K. Scientific Forum on Neuroscience and the Law will be held March 2nd-3rd, 2011. Link to forum website


2.8.11
AAAS Announces Workshop on Responsible Research Practices in a Changing Research Environment

AAAS is hosting a Workshop on Responsible Research Practices in a Changing Research Environment on February 17, 2011 at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The workshop will highlight emerging issues related to a changing research environment, which poses new challenges for researchers who seek to "practice" their craft responsibly. Link to workshop website


1.2.11
New Double Degree Track

The Neuroscience and Public Policy Program introduces a new double degree track in Neuroscience and International Public Policy. Please see Program-Overview for detailed information.


10.11.10
Politically Minded: University of Wisconsin Program Melds Neuroscience with Public Policy
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article by Harvey Black

The N&PP Program is profiled in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Link to the article


10.5.10
National Academies Science & Technology Policy Fellowship

The National Academies continue to sponsor The Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program (link). Fellows will engage in the analytical process that informs U.S. science and technology policy and develop basic skills essential to working or participating in science policy at the federal, state, or local levels.


6.2.10
U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers Calls on Scientists and Engineers to Join the Political Process

Michigan Representative Vernon Ehlers delivered The Carey Lecture at this year’s AAAS Forum on Science & Technology Policy in Washington, D.C. An unlikely politician, Ehlers became the first research physicist elected to Congress (in 1993) after being convinced by friends and supporters. He spoke about the unique knowledge and skills scientists and engineers bring to the political process, pointing out in conclusion that “someone has to replace me—we can’t let this go backwards.” Link to written summary and speech audio


6.1.10
Third-Year Students Begin Internships

AAAS: Lindsay Pascal is working with the Scientific Freedom, Responsibility, & Law Program (SFRL) at AAAS in Washington, DC. As an SFRL intern, she will be researching topics on personalized medicine and scientific integrity and attending congressional hearings and professional science policy meetings. Lindsay also will contribute articles to AAAS’s quarterly newsletter, the Professional Ethics Report.

Government Accountability Office (GAO): The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was enacted to spur business and technological advancements. The Act also was expected to provide an unprecedented level of transparency. Patrick Hernandez is working with the GAO to help access the transparency of housing recovery funds as accounted for on the Recovery.gov website. Assessments such as these by the GAO are important for accounting to the public how tax dollars are being spent.


5.10.10
New Students Joining the N&PP Program

Carlton Frost, who majored in neuroscience at Dartmouth, will join the Program in the fall of 2010. Cornelia Hall, a political science major from Prineton, who also earned a certificate in neuroscience, will defer for a year to work in Washington, DC and then enter the Program in the fall of 2011.


3.25.10
Science of Science Policy Events Calendar

The Science of Science Policy website, which is part of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (Executive Office of the President), has posted a list of events with a focus on science policy. Link to events calendar


3.23.10
AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will hold its annual Forum on Science and Technology Policy May 13th-14th, 2010. The conference is intended for those interested in public policy issues facing the science, engineering, and higher education communities. Link to conference website


11.30.09
Recent and Upcoming Science Policy Conferences

The Canadian Science Policy Conference was held on October 28th-30th, 2009 in Toronto, Canada. The goal of the conference was to initiate the development of a strong science policy network in Canada, which will be necessary to educate future policy-makers on science and technology issues as well as help scientists understand the societal implications of their research. Link to conference website

The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) will host a Women & Science/Technology Policy Seminar on January 4th-8th, 2010 in Washington, D.C. The seminar will address how science and technology impact public policy, the role of ethics in science and technology policy, and how government decides what research to fund. Link to seminar website


5.13.09
Science for Science
An editorial that appeared in Science by Editor-in-Chief Bruce Alberts that advocates for "increasing the contacts between scientists and the rest of society."
Link to editorial and response letters
B. Alberts, Science 324:13 (3 April 2009)


4.10.09
Prenatal Exposure to Drugs: Effects on Brain Development and Implications for Policy and Education
A Nature Reviews Neuroscience article by Thompson, Levitt, and Stanwood

It is important to close the gap between what science tells us about the impact of prenatal drug exposure on the fetus and the mother and what we do programmatically with regard to at-risk populations. Link to article


3.13.09
N&PP Students Attend Law and Life Sciences Conference

Three Neuroscience and Public Policy students attended “What's Next in Law, Health & the Life Sciences? Debating Openness, Access & Accountability” conference in Minneapolis on March 6th. The meeting, part of the University of Minnesota’s Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment, and Life Sciences, addressed emerging issues shaping law, health and biomedical research. Students listened to key national speakers address legal, social, and ethical issues in environmental, genomic, and neuroscience research. Additionally, students gained knowledge about new problems and approaches regarding science oversight and accountability. The students also learned about current management and structural issues facing centers working on the societal implications of biomedicine, such as the O'Neill Center for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown. The consortium allowed the students to speak with a wide range of researchers, policymakers, and attorneys in a setting aimed at maximizing communication between the ethical, legal, and science sectors.

N&PP students with Apostolos P. Georgopoulos, professor of neuroscience and neurology at the University of Minnesota. From left to right: Patric Hernandez, Dr. Georgopolous, Lindsay Pascal, and Ismael Amarreh.


12.09.08
Towards Responsible Use of Cognitive-Enhancing Drugs by the Healthy
A Nature article by Henry Greely et al.

Society must respond to the growing demand for cognitive enhancement. That response must start by rejecting the idea that ‘enhancement’ is a dirty word. Link to article


09.15.08
Fall 2008 Neuroscience & Public Policy Seminar Series

September 26, 2008
Shawn Peters, School of Education, UW-Madison
We Need to Change the Statute:
Public Policy, Science, and the Conundrum of Faith Healing


October 10, 2008
Kenneth Robbins, Department of Psychiatry, UW-Madison
Challenging Issues that Bridge Psychiatry and the Law

December 12, 2008
Henry Greely, Stanford University Law School
Neuroscience and the Law: Hope, Fear, and Hype


05.27.08
The Neuroscience of Retailing: Research Shows Shopping Can Make People Euphoric
A WSJ article by CHERYL LU-LIEN TAN

"Retail therapy" is a term many women are more than familiar with -- the notion that the simple act of going shopping can be a panacea has been widely explored in pop culture. A growing number of researchers have been finding there is some truth behind the idea. And that the emotional well-being of shoppers can affect both their eagerness to buy and the prices they're willing to pay. Link to article


05.06.08
He's a Man, as Charged
A Washington Post article by LAURA SESSIONS STEPP

Clad in an orange jumpsuit and crocheted kufi, Durant, 17, sits behind a jail window that is faded with age. He was charged as an adult with multiple counts, including conspiracy and murder, and taken to the D.C. jail. However, studies have shown that a person doesn't reach maturity until sometime in their mid-20s. Because of this, young people are more susceptible to peer pressure than older adults, more likely to act impulsively, less likely to anticipate consequences if they get caught and thus arguably less culpable. Should young people who are accused of a crime receive the full force of laws intended for adults, given accumulating evidence that their brains are not fully matured? Link to article


03.30.08
Neuroscience & Public Policy Seminar Series

The Nuts and Dolts of Science Policy in Washington
Michael Stebbins

Friday, May 9, 2008
4:00PM
341 Bardeen

For more information or question, please contact Jenny Dahlberg: npp@mhub.neuroscience.wisc.edu or 262-4932. [PDF] (Link to Schedule & Readings).


04.22.08
The Government Is Trying to Wrap Its Mind Around Yours
An article by NITA FARAHANY

Imagine a world of streets lined with video cameras that alert authorities to any suspicious activity. A world where police officers can read the minds of potential criminals and arrest them before they commit any crimes. A world in which a suspect who lies under questioning gets nabbed immediately because his brain has given him away. Does it sound like a very safe place, or a very scary one? Link to article


03.27.08
Neuroscience & Public Policy Seminar Series

What is Required for the Effective Treatment of People with Schizophrenia: Clinical and Policy Considerations
Ronald J. Diamond

Friday, April 4, 2008
4:00PM
341 Bardeen

For more information or question, please contact Jenny Dahlberg: npp@mhub.neuroscience.wisc.edu or 262-4932. [PDF] (Link to Schedule & Readings).


03.25.08
Brain Enhancement Is Wrong, Right?
An article by BENEDICT CAREY

"The original purpose of medicine is to heal the sick, not turn healthy people into gods." - Francis Fukuyama

In a recent commentary in the journal Nature, two Cambridge University researchers reported that about a dozen of their colleagues had admitted to regular use of prescription drugs like Adderall, a stimulant, and Provigil, which promotes wakefulness, to improve their academic performance. In addition, surveys of college students have found that from 4 percent to 16 percent say they have used stimulants or other prescription drugs to improve their academic performance. What impacts does this have on society? Link to article


03.04.08
Neuroscience & Public Policy Seminar Series

Health Law & Neuroscience: An Intergrative Approach?
Stacey A. Tovino

Friday, March 7th, 2008
4:00PM
341 Bardeen

For more information or question, please contact Jenny Dahlberg: npp@mhub.neuroscience.wisc.edu or 262-4932. [PDF] (Link to Schedule & Readings).


02.26.08
Neuroscience & Justice
At AAAS Conference, Judges Explore the Impact of Neuroscience on Justice

It was the sort of case that makes news headlines: A man was arrested for soliciting child sex online, and the case was slated for trial. But in the pre-trial investigation, a scan of the suspect's brain using positron emission tomography revealed serious damage to the frontal lobe of his brain, apparently the result of a stroke. In a judicial system based on the assumption that individuals function by free will, how could responsibility be assigned for the crime? Link to article


02.19.08
Neuroscience & Public Policy Seminar Series

The Effect of Alzheimer's Disease Risk on Brain Function
Sterling Johnson

Friday, February 22nd, 2008
4:00PM
341 Bardeen

For more information or question, please contact Jenny Dahlberg: npp@mhub.neuroscience.wisc.edu or 262-4932. [PDF] (Link to Schedule & Readings).

11.30.07
Neuroscience & Public Policy Seminar Series

Presenting Embryonic stem cell reseach to the Public
Ian Duncan

Friday, December 7, 2007
4:00PM
281 Medical Science Building

For more information or question, please contact Heather Daniels: npp@mhub.neuroscience.wisc.edu or 262-4932. [PDF] (Link to Schedule & Readings).


11.20.07
Feature article titled On Neuroethics is published in the Science Magazine on November 19th. Link to article


11.19.07
Neuroscience & Public Policy Seminar Course Announcement for Spring 2008

Course Number: Neuroscience 675
This course will address selected topics at the intersection of neuroscience and public policy. It is composed of public lectures followed by an intensive discussion covering the lecture and selected readings. There will be one lecture per month, followed by one or two discussions. Some speakers for Spring 2008 includes Sterling Johnson, Natasha Schull(MIT), and Stacey Tovino (Hamline University).

For more information or question, please contact Ronald Kalil: rekalil@wisc.edu. [PDF]


11.6.07
Neuroscience & Public Policy Seminar Series

Ethical & Policy Issues Arising from Animal/Human Neural Chimeras
Robert Streiffer
Department of Medical History & Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Friday, November 9th, 2007
4:00PM
281 Medical Science Building

For more information or question, please contact Heather Daniels: npp@mhub.neuroscience.wisc.edu or 262-4932. [PDF] (Link to Schedule & Readings).


10.12.07
Not Science as Usual: Become a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow
Advancing Science, Serving Society

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Genetics/Biotechnology Center - Room 1360
425 Henry Mall

Speakers include:
Jeremiah Duncan, 2005-07 AAAS Fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Tom Zinnen, 2000-01 Congressional Fellow and Biotechnology Policy and Outreach Specialist

Since 1973, nearly 2,000 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellows have bridged the divide between science and public policy, gaining significant knowledge about the federal government system while advancing their careers and helping promote science in the U.S. and around the globe.

For more information or question, please contact Brianne Miers: bmiers@aaas.org or 202-326-6481. (Link to website)


10.8.07
Neuroscience & Public Policy Seminar Series

Current Perspectives and Unanticipated Ethical Issues with Implantable Brain Devices
Justin Williams

Friday, October 19th, 2007
4:00PM
281 Medical Science Building

This talk will center on many of the recent advances in neural implant technology that may find their way into clinical use in the near future. With many of these impending technologies on the clinical horizon, a number of ethical issues have arisen, many that have been anticipated, some largely unforeseen, and a few that are quite surprising.

For more information or question, please contact Heather Daniels: npp@mhub.neuroscience.wisc.edu or 262-4932. [PDF] (Link to Schedule & Readings).


9.21.07
Neuroscience & Public Policy Seminar Series

The Definition of Death: Problems and Solutions
Norman Fost
Department of Pediatrics and Department of Medical History & Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Friday, September 21th, 2007
4:00PM
281 Medical Science Building

For more information or question, please contact Heather Daniels: npp@mhub.neuroscience.wisc.edu or 262-4932. [PDF] (Link to Schedule & Readings).


8.31.07
Neuroscience and Public Policy Seminar

Neuroscience 675 (Also meets with La Follette course 974)
Instructor: Ronald Kalil

Seminar: Friday, 4:00PM
Discussion: Tuesday, 11:00 - 1:00PM
Location: 281 Medical Science Building

This Seminar will address selected topics at the intersection of neuroscience and public policy. The course is composed of public lectures followed by an intensive discussion covering the lecture and selected readings. There will be one lecture per month followed by one or two discussion sections. Fall 2007 speakers will be Norman Fost, Robert Streiffer, Ian Duncan, and Justin Williams. [PDF] (Link to Schedule & Readings).


4.15.07
Two students form the first entering class for Dual-Degree Program. Patric Hernandez and Lindsay Pascal will enter in Fall 2007.
3.19.07
Neuroscience and Public Policy Speaker

Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense
Jonathan Moreno
University of Pennsylvannia

Wednesday, March 28
4:00 pm
B1118 Biochemistry

A reception will follow the lecture in the lobby.
Sponsored by Society for Neuroscience Chapters Grant and the Neuroscience and Public Policy Dual-Degree Program. [PDF]

3.11.07
Feature article titled The Brain on the Stand is the cover story of the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Link to article


3.1.07
The Dual-Degree Program in Neuroscience and Public Policy is currently accepting applications for its second class that will matriculate in Fall 2008. Application deadline is January 1, 2008. Please see the Admissions web page for more details.


10.11.06
The Neuroscience and Public Policy Program was mentioned as a new graduate program in the Fifth-Year Progress Report on the Strategic Plan. For more information, see the Strategic Plan web site.