November 8, 2006

IEET at the UN Dec. 1

If you're in New York on December 1st, you should check this out:

On Friday, Dec. 1, 2006 a panel of bioethicists & physicians, including IEET Executive Director James J. Hughes, will discuss the impacts of emerging neurotechnologies on cognitive liberty at the United Nations.

The panel will be held on the 2nd floor of 777 UN Plaza in New York City from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and the Appignani Center for Bioethics, the United Nation bioethics liaison office of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.

Cost: Pay at door: $12 General Public | $6 Students

Contact: 212-687-3324 (tel) | 212-661-4188 (fax) | E-mail:

Meeting theme:

Growing knowledge in the neurosciences, enhanced by exponential advances in pharmacology and other neurotechnologies (technologies that monitor and manipulate the brain) are rapidly moving brain research and clinical applications beyond the scope of purely medical use. These emerging neurotechnologies offer expanded intelligence, memory and senses, giving us greater ability to understand and control our own minds. But they also expand the avenues for possible coercion and invasion of mental privacy. What is the state of cognitive liberty today? What steps do we need to take to protect cognitive liberty, mental privacy and freedom of choice in light of these neurotechnologies?

Speakers include:

James Hughes Ph.D. is the author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future. Dr. Hughes teaches Health Policy at Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, and serves as Trinity’s Associate Director of Institutional Research and Planning. He is the Executive Director of the World Transhumanist Association and its affiliated Institute for Emerging Technologies. Dr. Hughes will moderate the panel.

Elizabeth Phelps Ph.D. is currently a Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University. Her Phelps Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience has earned widespread acclaim for its groundbreaking research on how the human brain processes emotion, particularly as it relates to learning, memory and decision making. Dr. Phelps is the recipient of the 21st Century Scientist Award from the James S. McDonnell Foundation and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

John P. Morgan M.D. is a physician and professor of pharmacology at the City University of New York Medical School. Dr. Morgan has published approximately 100 articles, book chapters and books, largely focused on the clinical pharmacology of psychoactive drugs. His latest book, Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts (The Lindesmith Center, New York, 1997) reviews the latest scientific and medical research and debunks the common marijuana myths.

Bradley Lewis MD, PhD teaches cultural studies at the Gallatin School at New York University, with affiliated appointments in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and the Department of Psychiatry. He is the author of numerous articles published in academic journals, is the cultural studies editor for The Journal of Medical Humanities, and author of Postpsychiatry: Theorizing Psychiatry, Prozac, and DSM.

The IHEU-Appignani Center for Bioethics focuses on raising awareness of bioethical issues confronting the international community and promotes a human-centered approach, developing and implementing an international program for lobbying. The Center is a new initiative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the international umbrella organization for humanist, ethical culture, rationalist, secularist and free-thought groups. IHEU holds a special consultative status with the United Nations, a general consultative status with UNICEF and the Council of Europe as well as operational relations with UNESCO in Paris.

The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies ( examines the social implications of technological progress, promoting public policies that distribute the benefits and reduce the risks of accelerating innovation. The IEET is chaired by Dr. Nick Bostrom of Oxford University, and served by Dr. James Hughes of Trinity College (Hartford CT) as its Executive Director. The thirteen Fellows of the IEET span expertise from nanotechnology, neurotechnology, biotechnology and information science to bioethics, philosophy and health policy. The IEET publishes the Journal of Evolution and Technology ( and hosts the Changesurfer podcast.

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