Human Brain Project PHD position

A machine capable of thinking

The Human Brain Project's research will have social, ethical and philosophical implications, both short- and long-term. Some will be familiar to researchers involved in human and animal research, such as informed consent in human study or the principle of the three Rs - replacement, reduction and refinement - in animal experimentation.

However new, previously not widely appreciated issues are likely to emerge as technological development continues in future neuroscience, medicine and information and communication technology (ICT). As the HBP moves forward, the principles underlying Science With and For Society (SwafS) will provide important guidance. The HBP embodies responsible research and innovation in all its activities, and it has set out strategic plans to ensure that the work benefits society. The project aims to identify concerns as early as possible and to address them in an open and transparent manner. For example, early citizen engagement can provide scientists with opportunities to gauge public reaction to their work, enabling them to best hone their research objectives and develop efficient, safe, and economical processes in the light of these reactions.

The Ethics and Society Programme draws on the methods developed during empirical investigations of emerging technologies in genomics, neuroscience, synthetic biology, nanotechnology and information and communication technologies as well as on the biomedical tradition of engaging with ethical issues through the application of formal principles – of basic human rights and prosocial development (transparency, reassuring the public, citizen engagement, and so on) – that are being implemented throughout ethical review processes.

ELSA Committee

Membership: A minimum 12 members drawn broadly from European nations, reflecting a gender balance and distribution across areas of science, ethics, technology, law and philosophy relevant to the HBP

Nikola Biller-Andorno - bioethics

Berit Bringedal (Chair) - sociology, sociological research

Markus Christen (Vice-Chair) - neuroethics

Hironori Matsuzaki – social theory and philosophical anthropology

Stefano Rodotá – civil law and human rights

Alberto Rábano Gutiérrez - neuropathology, neuroscience

Julian Savulescu - neuroethics

Ignacio Torres Aleman – biology, neuroendocrinology

Jean-Dominique Vassalli – science and medicine

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