Feb. 7, 2019

International Brain Initiatives Bring Together A Global Perspective On Neuroethics

The latest edition of Cell Press's NEURON features an extended feature on neuroethics bringing together publications from the seven component brain initiatives which together form the International Brain Initiative. Included are papers reflecting on the work of the Human Brain Project (EU), Australian, Canadian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and United States national brain research initiatives.


Neuron February 2019 Edition


Press Release

6 February 2019

For Immediate Release

Neuron: Special Issue On Neuroethics


The brain is special because of the meaning and assumptions about what can be revealed through neuroscience. Neuroscience has become a national funding priority around the globe with a growing cohort of large-scale research initiatives who endeavour to understand the scientific basis of feelings, thinking, and ultimately the mind. Our ever-expanding global neuroscience landscape requires that we, as a society and as scientists, consider the underlying values and ethics that drive brain research across culture and continents. Scientists need to grasp the consequences of not having cultural awareness: missed opportunities for collaboration, limited ability to share and reap benefits of advances and discoveries, and critically a risk of failure to anticipate short- and long-term risks of neuroscience research.

The Global Neuroethics Summit is an activity of the Neuroethics Workgroup of the International Brain Initiative. The Neuroethics Workgroup of the IBI is co-chaired by Drs. Sung-Jin Jeong of the Korea Brain Research Institute and Karen Rommelfanger of the Emory University Center for Ethics comprised of members of each of the existing and emerging large-scale brain research initiatives. It aims to leverage the fellowship of the IBI and to use an intentional culturally aware lens to complete rapid deliverables in the near (within one year) and short-term (within two years).

This neuroethics special issue of Neuron represents “the first of its kind in a high-impact neuroscience journal” marking the “cultural shift within the neuroscientific community, demonstrating the necessity and value of the integration of neuroethics into the neuroscientific enterprise.” (Rommelfanger et al, 2019)

With this issue, leadership from of each the brain projects in both science and ethics created a manuscript for their respective brain initiatives that discusses why and how they will integrate neuroethics into their brain projects. As a guide, authors utilized the five Neuroethics Question for Neuroscientists (NeQN) created in a collaboration of IBI and published in Neuron in Fall 2018.

Unique features of the Global Neuroethics Summit and the Neuroethics Workgroup of the IBI is that its work committed to cultural awareness and builds upon the momentum of the fellowship of the IBI. Neuroscience is now a global endeavor and neuroethics must be equally prepared to address global values. The 2019 Global Neuroethics Summit will focus on neuroethics engagement and will be held in Daegu, South Korea.

Special Issue on Neuroethics

Individual papers that are part of the special issue:


 Neuroethics: Think Global

Karen S. Rommelfanger, Sung-Jin Jeong, Caroline Montojo, Mariela Zirlinger

Neuroethics Questions to Guide Ethical Research in the International Brain Initiatives

Global Neuroethics Summit Delegates Karen S. Rommelfanger, Sung-Jin Jeong, Arisa Ema, Tamami Fukushi, Kiyoto Kasai, Khara M. Ramos, Arleen Salles, Ilina Singh

A Neuroethics Framework for the Australian Brain Initiative

Australian Brain Alliance

A Neuroethics Backbone for the Evolving Canadian Brain Research Strategy

Judy Illes, Samuel Weiss, Jaideep Bains, Jennifer A. Chandler, Patricia Conrod, Yves De Koninck, Lesley K. Fellows, Deanna Groetzinger, Eric Racine, Julie M. Robillard, Marla B. Sokolowski

Responsibility and Sustainability in Brain Science, Technology, and Neuroethics in China—a Culture-Oriented Perspective

Yi Wang, Jie Yin, Guoyu Wang, Pingping Li, Guoqiang Bi, Suning Li, Xiaohuan Xia, Jianren Song, Gang Pei, Jialin C. Zheng

The Human Brain Project: Responsible Brain Research for the Benefit of Society

Arleen Salles, Jan G. Bjaalie, Kathinka Evers, Michele Farisco, B. Tyr Fothergill, Manuel Guerrero, Hannah Maslen, Jeffrey Muller, Tony Prescott, Bernd C. Stahl, Henrik Walter, Karl Zilles, Katrin Amunts

Neuroethical Issues of the Brain/MINDS Project of Japan

Norihiro Sadato, Kentaro Morita, Kiyoto Kasai, Tamami Fukushi, Katsuki Nakamura, Eisuke Nakazawa, Hideyuki Okano, Shigeo Okabe

Korea Brain Initiative: Emerging Issues and Institutionalization of Neuroethics

Sung-Jin Jeong, In Young Lee, Bang Ook Jun, Young-Joon Ryu, Jeong-woo Sohn, Sung-Phil Kim, Choong-Wan Woo, Ja Wook Koo, Il-Joo Cho, Uhtaek Oh, Kyungjin Kim, Pann-Ghill Suh

The NIH BRAIN Initiative: Integrating Neuroethics and Neuroscience

Khara M. Ramos, Christine Grady, Henry T. Greely, Winston Chiong, James Eberwine, Nita A. Farahany, L.Syd M. Johnson, Bradley T. Hyman, Steven E. Hyman, Karen S. Rommelfanger, Elba E. Serrano, James D. Churchill, Joshua A. Gordon, Walter J. Koroshetz