This Neurotech Justice Summit is presented as part of a series of activities supported by a planning grant from the Dana Foundation to design a potential “Dana Center for Neuroscience & Society.”
An interdisciplinary team, based at the the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics with partners across and beyond the Harvard campus, has been working since October 2022 to conduct integrated pilot projects for community-engagement, participant-centered strategic visioning to identify and address the urgent ethical and legal challenges emerging from rapid development of implantable and wearable neurotechnologies—and their potential application in a wide variety of contexts including the clinic, courtroom, classroom, and community. The grant is being led by three Principal Investigators: neuroethicist Gabriel Lázaro-Muñoz, neurosurgeon Theresa Williamson and law and neuroscience scholar Francis Shen.
A distinguishing feature of our planning grant work, and of this Neurotech Justice Summit, is mentoring and supporting the development of a new generation of neuroscience and society scholars, practitioners, and activists. The Summit has been co-designed and is being co-led by our talented group of undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate, and post-doctoral Dana Planning Grant Next Generation Leaders.
9:00-9:10: Welcome & Introduction
Introduction: Kailyn Price, PhD Candidate, Dana Planning Grant Next Generation Leader; Neuroscience, George Washington University
Racial and Phenotypic Bias in Non-invasive Human Neurotechnology: Jasmine Kwasa, PhD, Dana Planning Grant Next Generation Leader; Post-Doctoral Fellow, Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute; Chief Technology Officer, Precision Neuroscopics, Inc
9:10-10:00: What is Neurotech Justice?
Our first panel will explore the interrelated questions: What is neurotech justice? What are examples of neurotech injustice? and How does neurotech justice relate to current debates about neurorights?
- Moderator: Essence Leslie, BA, Dana Planning Grant Next Generation Leader; Research Assistant, Center for Neurological Restoration, Cleveland Clinic
- Moderator: Gabriel Lázaro-Muñoz, PhD, JD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School
- Panelist: Joseph J. Fins, MD, E. William Davis Jr. MD Professor of Medical Ethics, Weill Cornell Medicine; Visiting Professor of Law, Yale Law School
- Panelist: Jasmine Kwasa, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute; Chief Technology Officer, Precision Neuroscopics, Inc
- Panelist: Abel Wajnerman Paz, PhD, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Philosophy & Director of the Neuroethics UAH Center, Alberto Hurtado University (Santiago de Chile)
- Panelist: Peter Zuk, PhD, Research Fellow, Brain Bioethics Lab, Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics
10:05-10:50: Neurotech in the Courtroom
From state trial courts to the United States Supreme court, the legal system is increasingly encountering neuroscience. This trend is likely to continue as we learn more about the brain-mind-behavior relationship and its relevance to legal questions. We will soon see the introduction of new neurotechnology in the law as well, raising questions about how the law should respond and how these technologies should be regulated. In this panel, we will discuss both the promise and the peril of embracing neurotechnology in the legal system. With a focus on criminal law, we will consider whether new treatments using neurotech might advance justice and improve mental health outcomes. We will also address concerns that the government will misuse these technologies?
- Moderator: Alyssa Sosa, Dana Planning Grant Next Generation Leader; Undergraduate, University of Puerto Rico
- Moderator: Sam Holloway, Dana Planning Grant Next Generation Leader; Student, Harvard Law School
- Panelist: Nkatha Gitobu, MBE, Dana Planning Grant Next Generation Leader; Research Assistant, CATALOG
- Panelist: Judge Bernice Donald, JD United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; University of Memphis School of Law; Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules; Secretary, American Bar Association; President, National Association of Women Judges and the Association of Women Attorneys
- Panelist: Judge (Ret.) Nancy Gertner, JD, MA, Senior Lecturer, Harvard Law School; Retired Judge, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
- Panelist: Oliver Rollins, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of American Ethnic Studies, University of Washington
10:55-11:45: Neurotech Justice in the Clinic
This session will feature a panel discussion regarding neurotech ethics in critical care situations. Session objectives will include an overview of a clinical case study about a patient with traumatic brain injury and discussing who is not being served by current models of care, what uncertainties are present in such clinical scenarios, and potential current and future applications of neurotechnology to address these issues.
- Moderator: Christiana Oshotse, Dana Planning Grant Next Generation Leader, First-year MD student, Harvard Medical School
- Moderator: Maya Roytman, Dana Planning Grant Next Generation Leader; Incoming first-year MD/MA student, Bioethics and Health Policy, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
- Panelist: Joseph J. Fins, MD, E William Davis Jr. MD Professor of Medical Ethics, Weill Cornell Medicine; Visiting Professor of Law, Yale Law School
- Panelist: Theresa Williamson, MD, Co-Chair, Surgical Ethics Working Group, HMS Center for Bioethics; Faculty Neurosurgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School
- Panelist: Yelena G. Bodien, PhD, Assistant Professor in Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital; Research Scientist, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
- Panelist: Michael Young, MD, MPhil, Neurologist and Researcher, Division of Neurocritical Care, Massachusetts General Hospital; Researcher, Center for Neurotechnology and Neurorecovery (CNTR)
11:45-12:00: Concluding Remarks
- Gabriel Lázaro-Muñoz, PhD, JD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School
- Francis X. Shen, JD, PhD, Faculty Member, Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School & Dept. of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital; Harvard University Affiliated Professor at Harvard Law School
- Theresa Williamson, MD, Co-Chair, Surgical Ethics Working Group, HMS Center for Bioethics; Faculty Neurosurgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School