Event Archive


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Safety and risks of "brain games"

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NELSI-3 Conference video available-
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James Giordano presents:
Brain, Mind & Society: The Future of Neuroethics at the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility


Visit the Capital Consortium for Neuroscience: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (CCNELSI) (www.ccnelsi.com) for a scheduled listing (and webcast links) of some of Prof. Giordano's most recent past events, including:

The Power – and Problems - of Prediction: Capabilities and Limitations of Neuro-psychiatric Science and Technology to Predict and Prevent Violent Social Behavior
Friday, September 9, 2011

Neuroscience and Pragmatism: Productive Prospects
Friday, June 10, 2011

CCNELSI Special Event
National NELSI-3 Meeting: Neuroethical, Legal and Social Issues in Uses of Neuroscience in National Security and Defense

Friday. February 25, 2011

CCNELSI Special Event
Neuroscience and Non-Speciesist Neuroethics: Implications for Animal Welfare and the Responsible Conduct of Research

February 4, 2011

CCNELSI Special Event
Use and Misuse of Neurology and Psychiatry: Lessons Learned from the Holocaust

January 14, 2011

Other past events include:

Domenici Neuroscience Symposium
"Neuroscience for National Security"
May 7, 2010

Click here for more information...

University of Oxford Wellcome Centre for Neuroethics
BioPrediction Conference Washington, DC
May 8-9, 2010

Click here for more information...

Shifting Realities: Myths, Models & Morality
The New York Academy of Sciences
May 12, 010

Click here for more information...

3rd Annual Symposium on Integrating Nanotechnology with Cell Biology and Neuroscience
August 17-18, 2009
at the Rotunda Room at the Science and Technology Park
801 University Blvd. SE.
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Click here for more information

University of Pittsburgh's Center for National Preparedness Lecture Series.
September 3, 2009
3:00-4:00 PM (Reception to follow)
Location: 5th Floor Alumni Hall
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
RSVP: http://www.cnp.pitt.edu/seminar (by 9/1)
Click here for more information

Past Event:

The Nour Foundation-Blackfriars Hall, Oxford University-Georgetown University Symposium Series: Technology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Being: Considerations of Meaning, Morality, and Transcendence presents:
Toward a Common Morality
September 11, 2009
The United Nations
Conference Room 3

Morning session:
[Webcast: Archived Video - English: 3 hrs and 8 mins]
Afternoon session:
[Webcast: Archived Video - English: 4 hrs and 10 mins]

Click here to watch video of James Giordano's presentation: Neuroscience, Reverence and Moral Sense.

Discoveries in neuroscience and in particular neurotechnology have provided a unique window through which we can glance into the intricate workings of the human brain. Technologies such as brain scanning using positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging have enabled us to now monitor and understand the detailed geographical representation of human emotions, feelings, and thoughts within the brain. Yet, as these technologies have evolved, they have also highlighted the fundamental limitations that currently exist in our understanding of the human mind; namely, what is the nature of the relationship between the brain and the mind? What is it that makes us human and provides us with the qualities that distinguish us from all other beings? And how do the myriad of electrical and chemical processes we know of within the brain lead to an individual with unique feelings, thoughts, and emotions?

In this third and final conference, the participants will discuss the phenomenological and spiritual characteristics of human subjective experience, the neurophysiological and psychological basis of these domains, as well as the roles they play in the process of practical reasoning and moral decision making. The emphasis will be upon elucidating how and why an understanding of the integrative neuroscience of the brain-mind not only compels but sustains an appreciation for reverence and virtue—in the sense of cognitive intention and expressed actions—while providing a natural foundation for the emergence of a system of common morality. In addressing the empirical record for the moral and spiritual dimension of human experience, participants will discuss the viability of neurocentric justification for reverence and virtue, neuro-phenomenological explanations for intellectual and moral virtues, and the concept of morality and ethics as a core human ecology.

Past Event:

Decade of the Mind 5
September 10-12, 2009
Berlin, Germany
Click here for more information

Past Event:

TBI and PTSD: Putative co-factors and distinctions in cause, expression and effect; Implications for assessment and intervention with Guest Speaker James Giordano, Ph.D.
September 17, 2009
Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
901 N. Stuart Street, Suite 200
Arlington, VA 22203
This meeting of the National Capitol Chapter of AMSUS is sponsored by the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and two of its academic centers — the National Security Health Policy Center and the Center for Neurotechnology Studies.
Click here for more information


Past Event:

The Nour Foundation-Blackfriars Hall, Oxford University-Georgetown University Symposium Series: Technology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Being: Considerations of Meaning, Morality, and Transcendence presents:
Brain, Mind & the Nature of Being
July 22, 2009
Blackfriars Hall, Oxford University
Ioannou Centre for Classical Studies

This event is co-supported in part by the Center for Neurotechnology Studies, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.

As the fields that are broadly grouped under the rubric of neuroscience provide increasingly more information about the structure and function of neural systems and the brain, it becomes relatively easier to accept and use this data as “facts” to guide, if not actually dictate, our perspectives and activities. Indeed, in the past decade neuroscience has become something of a focal point for applications of genetic and nanotechnologies. The pace of neuroscientific discovery is fueled in part by the synergy of new technology in these and other areas, as neuroscientific advances are both being applied in medicine and integrated into the fabric of social conduct and daily life. This in turn has spawned incipient fields of “neuroeconomics,” “neuromarketing,” “neurolaw,” “neurotheology,” etc. But given the reality that knowledge of the brain and mind remains incomplete and contingent, the ‘neuro;' prefix seems to have become synecdoche for the reductionist/anti-reductionist debate in each of the areas in which it is used, prompting us to consider what some have regarded as “the limits of neuro-talk.”

This gathering of prominent scholars will address the question of whether neurotechnology can provide an accurate insight to the mind, and what changes might be needed in the theories and concepts of neuroscience and evolutionary psychology if a holistic concept of the human person is really to emerge from our progress. Participants will discuss the possibility and implications of reciprocal interactions of body, brain-mind, and environment; the viability of a “self,” the relationality of the person to other persons and perhaps organic and non-organic (machine-based) organisms; the putative nature of virtue and responsibility; issues of will, deliberation, and determination in decision-making, and consideration of what these variables imply for aesthetic and creative experience and practices. In sum, this discourse will generate a wider view of how neuroscientific progress interacts with, and perhaps impacts, the past, present, and future constructs of the human condition, and how these constructs might evolve.

Past Event:



Prof. James Giordano, Chair of Academic Programs, and Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies, at the Potomac Institute, and Professor, Centre for Philosophical Psychology and Fellow, Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford,UK, chaired a two-day meeting (June 16-17) held at the Samueli Institute, Alexandria, VA, that focused upon the Science of Brain Trauma Spectrum Disorders, as part of the Brain Injury Disease Management Initiative (BIDMI) funded by the Office of Naval Research.

The meeting convened twelve recognized thought leaders in the field, including Dr. Dennis McBride, President Emeritus of Academic Centers of the Potomac Institute, to address multi-factorial causes of brain injury (including peripheral insult-induced central neural effects, electromagnetic pulse and shock-wave dynamics), the relation of TBI to stroke, and the problems, possibilities and potential for computational- and neuro-technology in assessment, treatment and rehabilitation. Speakers included Drs. Wayne Jonas, CEO of the Samueli Institute, Patrick Waters, Medical Director of Nazareth Hospital Stroke Program, PA; Carey Balaban, Professor of Neurobiology and Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, PA; Louis French, Clinical Neuropsychologist, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Assistant Professor, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, MD; David Twillie, Director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Warrior Resiliency and Recovery Center, Ft Campbell, KY; Joseph Bleiburg, Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology, Georgetown University Medical Center Washington DC; Harvey Levin, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine TX; John Ives, Senior Scientist and Director of the Brain-Mind, and Healing Program, Samueli Institute, William Beckner, Vice President and Director of Informatics at the Samueli Institute, and Karen Brown, Executive Director Brain Injury Services, Inc.

The meeting illustrated putative molecular, chemical and network mechanisms incurred through peripheral and central inflammatory, electromagnetic and shock blast insults, defined the notion of genotypic-phenotypic spectrum disorder as relevant to TBI, elucidated signs and symptoms of the various forms of expression of the spectrum, and brought existing and new approaches of diagnosis and therapeutics to light, particularly as related to a bio-psychosocial orientation to both the disorder, and the patient. As well, discussion centered on those ways in which future research might adopt this bio-psychosocial approach, and engage emerging technologies in ways that instill the most effective - and ethically sound - translational focus and capabilities.

Past Event:

The Nour Foundation-Blackfriars Hall, Oxford University-Georgetown University Symposium Series: Technology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Being: Considerations of Meaning, Morality, and Transcendence presents:

The Paradox of Neurotechnology
Friday, May 8, 2009

This event is co-supported in part by the Center for Neurotechnology Studies, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.


The Nour Foundation-Georgetown University Symposium Series

The aim of the Nour Foundation-Georgetown University symposium series is to provide a forum for the launch of high-level interdisciplinary discussions intended to address and overcome the increasing isolation and fragmentation of the disciplines devoted to the science and advancement of the human person. The conferences, which will take place at Georgetown, Rockefeller University (June 3rd), and the United Nations in New York (September 11th), will seek to incorporate recent advances in neuroscience into a more comprehensive paradigm that is consistent with what is known of the human condition.

Part I: The Paradox of Neurotechnology

Though neurotechnologies have allowed unparalleled capability to bring groups of individuals together through rapid communication and informational delivery while at the same time providing invaluable insight into the workings of the brain, the paradox remains that these technologies may also incur more dystopian possibilities by isolating individuals as disjointed selves that are only artificially—and therefore superficially—connected to others, thus remaining aloof from the meaning or moral realities of inter-subjective, interpersonal relationships. As it is through the pace of our discovery that we are poised at the boundaries of knowledge and possibility, it behooves us to acknowledge that these boundaries exist, take measure of their margins, recognize the limits of our current knowledge, and advance our investigations with prudent precaution.

In this first of a three-part series of conferences, co-supported by the Center for Neurotechnology Studies of the Potomac Institute of Policy Studies in Virginia, and chaired by neuroscientist and neuroethicist Prof. James Giordano, participants include: Drs. Sheri Alpert (University of Pennsylvania), Kevin FitzGerald (Georgetown University), Layne Kalbfleisch (George Mason University), Jeff Krichmar (University of California Irvine), Dennis McBride (Georgetown University), Erik Parens (The Hastings Center), Sam Parnia (Weill Cornell Medical Center), and Susan Schneider (University of Pennsylvania) will discuss the latest neurotechnologies, their effects in treatment and enhancement, and the questions they raise concerning the nature and identity of the human person.

Time: 10:00 a.m.
Date: Friday, May 8, 2009
Location: Georgetown University, Medical-Dental Building, Room SW 107
Open Admission. Please RSVP at events@nourfoundation.com

The Nour Foundation is a public charitable organization and NGO with special consultative status to the United Nations. The Foundation explores universal ethical principles and values that cultivate greater understanding, tolerance, and unity among human beings worldwide.

Georgetown University is the nation's oldest Catholic and Jesuit university. Today, Georgetown is a major international research university that embodies its founding principles in the diversity of its students, faculty, and staff, and its commitment to justice and the common good.


Past Event:

The Neuroethics & Neurophilosophy Discussion Group

Friday, May 1st, 2009
3:30 – 5:00 pm
Georgetown University Medical Center
4000 Reservoir Road
Med Dent Bldg, Rm. SW107
Washington, DC

in coordination with

The Center for Neurotechnology Studies of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies

Presents a Lecture:

“A Neurophenomenological Model of Suffering and Empathy: Implications for Medicine and Morality”


Peter Moskovitz, M.D.

Clinical Professor of Orthopedics and Neurological Surgery
George Washington University Medical Center
Washington DC


Prof. James Giordano
Guillermo Palchik

All interested individuals are welcome!
Refreshments will be provided

For more information, contact:

Guillermo Palchik


Past Event:

Decade of the Mind IV
Pre-Conference Session:
Neuroethics, Legal, and Social Issues (NELSI)-2


Of interest:

Blogger post about Decade of the Mind IV:
Zack Lynch, asks: Does the U.S. Need a Neurowarfare Strategy?






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