A recently published paper on the neuroscience of drug addiction raises ethical and policy issues arising out of addiction. The paper concludes social and economic circumstances contribute towards the propensity of individuals to become addicted.
Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the DNA double helix, defined consciousness as the greatest unsolved problem in biology. The first major international conference of the Human Brain Project, held recently in Barcelona, has focused on the challenges and advances in its study. Jesús Méndez, of the scientific news agecy SINC, spoke with the local organiser of the conference, Mavi Sánchez Vives.
Philosopher Kathinka Evers does not think there is a sharp dualism between the unconscious and the conscious. Rather, the leader of the Human Brain Project’s Neuroethics and Philosophy Group, and the Ethics and Society Subproject (SP12) sees consciousness as a continuum.
The Human Brain Project may lead to research and new technologies that can be used in other ways than first intended, such as for military purposes – also known as dual use. In the coming months, HBP will consult citizens from 11 different EU countries, to collect their opinions about the risks of dual use of HBP research.