Call: Neuroscience & Society: Ethics, Law, and Technology

NEUROSCIENCE & SOCIETY: Ethics, Law, and Technology
24-25 August 2018
Sydney, NSW, Australia

Abstracts due: 7 June 2018

Advances in brain scanning and intervention technologies are transforming our ability to observe, explain, and influence human thought and behaviour. Potential applications of such technologies (e.g. brain-based pain detection in civil lawsuits, medications to help criminal offenders become less impulsive, prediction of future behaviour through neuroimaging) and their ethical, clinical, legal, and societal implications, fuel important debates in neuroethics.

However, many factors beyond the brain – factors targeted by different emerging technologies – also influence human thought and behaviour. Sequencing the human genome and gene-editing technologies like CRISPR Cas-9 offer novel ways to explain and influence human thought and behaviour. Analysis of data about our offline and online lives (e.g. from fitness trackers, how we interact with our smartphone apps, and our social media posts and profiles) also provides striking insights into our psychology. Such intimate information can be used to predict and influence our behaviour, including through bespoke advertising for goods and services that more effectively exploits our psychology, and political campaigns that sway election results. Although such methods often border on manipulation, they are both difficult to detect and potentially impossible to resist. The use of such information to guide the design of online environments, artifacts, and smart cities lies at the less nefarious – and potentially even socially useful and morally praiseworthy – end of the spectrum vis à vis the potential applications of such emerging “moral technologies”.

At this year’s Neuroscience & Society conference we will investigate the ethical, clinical, legal, and societal implications of a wide range of moral technologies that target factors beyond, as well as within, the brain, in order to observe, explain, and influence human thought and behaviour. Our speakers will include:



The conference program will also include six panels, symposia, and sessions on the following topics:

  • Panel on Mental Privacy After Cambridge Analytica
  • Panel on The Brain and the Screen
  • Panel on Remorse in Criminal Law
  • Panel on Dementia and Crime
  • Australian Neurolaw Database highlights and information about enhancements
  • Book Symposium on Neuro-Interventions and The Law: Regulating Human Mental Capacity

In addition to the above speakers and participants in the special panels, symposia, and sessions, the program will also include selected talks and a poster session drawn from this call for papers. We invite the submission of abstracts from scholars, scientists, technology designers, policy-makers, practitioners, clinicians and graduate students, interested in presenting talks or posters related to the above or following topics:

  • cognitive and moral enhancement
  • neurolaw and neuro-evidence
  • brain-computer interfaces
  • neuro-advertising
  • neuromorphic engineering and computing
  • mental privacy and surveillance
  • social media and behaviour prediction/influence
  • implicit bias and priming
  • technological influences on human behaviour
  • nudging, environment and technology design, and human behaviour
  • artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • technology and the self
  • (neuro)technology and society

Abstracts of 300 words should be emailed to Cynthia Forlini ( in Microsoft Word format by Thursday, 7 June 2018. Submissions will be peer reviewed, and authors of successful submissions will be notified via email by Monday, 18 June 2018.

For enquiries about matters other than abstract submission, please email Adrian Carter ( or Jeanette Kennett (

Neuroscience & Society is supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function Neuroethics Program, and the Centre for Agency Values and Ethics at Macquarie University.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ISPR Presence News

Search ISPR Presence News: