Neuroscientists don’t believe in souls—But that doesn’t mean they can’t sell theirs

Funding in research is nightmare to me for a lot of reasons, mostly political-academic bs, so naturally, my soul is for sale right now on Ebay. But lately, I’ve been talking to a mentor (outside of my program) about the ethics surrounding funding. One of my favorite topics covered in this older article by John Horgan, talks about the ethics we face regarding militarization of neuroscience which makes a lot of researchers nervous since their happy go lucky findings/discoveries could be used for killing & destruction or at best, enforcing peace - so not best at all, huh.

Neuroscientists are attempting to solve the most profound secrets of human existence. They should adhere to higher ethical standards than defense contractors and infomercial pitchmen. [via]

To the point where:

Some neuroscientists have gone further, calling on their colleagues to sign to pledge “to Refuse to Participate in the Application of Neuroscience to Violations of Basic Human Rights or International Law.”  [via]

Fair enough since we are talking about drones, unmanned ships, AI, autonomous robots, transcranial magnetic stimulators and neural prostheses. Horgan’s latest article (complete with what I’m calling a Lehrer clause at the end) goes a little deeper into the whys and why nots, both compelling, along with a nice overview of the projects underway.  Give it read, this is a debate well worth having.

Sidebar oversimplification: ya know kids, 80’s Val Kilmer taught me there’s going to be a potentially undesirable way to abuse science/engineering advancements and when involving our military… it’s a no brainer.

[img: ohsweetorchard]

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