Capital Consortium for Neuroscience: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues

Friday, September 9, 2011

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

(Lunch will be served and wine and cheese reception to follow)

Can neuroscience and neurotechnology stop violence and terrorism? Events such as the attacks of 9/11, as well as the shootings at Columbine, Phoenix, and Oslo, all prompt calls for neuroscience and psychiatry to "do something" to predict and even prevent violent offenses. Yet many questions remain as to what these fields can do, as well as the ethical and legal concerns that govern the ways in which these disciplines’ techniques should be used. This symposium brings together leading experts in the fields of neuroscience, psychiatry, philosophy, ethics and law to address the possible use of neuroscience and psychiatry to predict - and perhaps prevent - violent social behavior. Are we on the verge of seeing "pre-crime" detection concepts depicted in the movie "Minority Report" become reality? How do we parse the facts from fiction regarding exactly what results neuroscientific and psychiatric approaches can really achieve? What is the realistic potential for use (and misuse) in profiling and prediction, and is there practical, ethical, legal and/or social validity and value to such techniques?

Speaker Information

Prof. Carey Balaban, PhD
Neuroscientist and Bio-engineer
Center for National Preparedness, University of Pittsburgh, PA

Alenka Brown, PhD
Neuro-Cognitive Scientist
National Defense University, Washington, DC

Harry Brandon
Former Deputy Assistant Director for Counter-Terrorism and Counter Intelligence
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Current Chief Operating Officer
Smith Brandon International, Washington, DC

Prof. James Giordano PhD
Neuroscientist and Neuroethicist
Center for Neurotechnology Studies, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, University of Oxford, UK

RADM J. E. Gordon JAG-C USN (Ret.)
Former Judge Advocate General
United States Navy
Senior Fellow
Potomac Institute for policy Studies, Arlington, VA

Prof. E.G. Howe, MD, JD
Psychiatrist, Ethicist and Attorney
Uniformed Services’ University of Health Sciences, Bethesda MD

Prof. Fabrice Jotterand, PhD
Philosopher and Clinical Ethicist
University of Texas Southwest Medical School, Dallas, TX


For additional information or to register, please email: