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Cognitive Liberty News
From the Center for
Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
September 20, 2005
Now that it’s Fall, we are resuming our
regular update of things done, things to come, and things in the works here
at the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics.
As always, we depend upon your donations to
keep the Center operating.
If you haven't made a donation in some time, please take 5 minutes right now
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Awarded Official Consultative Status with the United Nations’ ECOSOC
Following a year-long application process, (itself an
education in large-scale bureaucracy) the CCLE has been awarded official
status as a consulting nonprofit with the United Nations’ Economic and
Social Council. We strongly believe in the strength and efficacy of smaller
organizations to address and help resolve issues of global importance. This
UN endorsement validates and gives greater visibility to the CCLE’s
positions on global drug policy, technology issues, and other international human rights issues
that we may bring before the United Nations in this capacity.
Dr. Charles S. Grob joins the CCLE Board of Advisors
The CCLE is pleased to welcome Dr. Charles S. Grob, director of the Division
of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and
professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine, to
our expert advisory board. Dr. Grob is conducting an approved research
investigation on psilocybin to treat terminally ill patients suffering from
acute anxiety. Dr. Grob’s new book, a compilation of interviews with eminent
thinkers, _Higher Wisdom: Psychedelics, Society, Mind and God_ was released this summer by SUNY Press (co-edited with Roger Walsh).
CCLE Director, Wrye Sententia's Talk on Geoethical Nanotechnology available
Dr. Wrye Sententia, joined other visionary thinkers, including Martine
Rothblatt, Ray Kurzweil, J. Hughes, Mike Tredor, Frank Tippler, and other
experts in assessing the ethics of nanotechnology. "Geoethical" analysis
emphasizes principles for guiding the application of curative technologies
across society, much like bioethical principles (autonomy, beneficence,
nonfeasance, justice) guide the application of technologies that impact one
or more patients. Medical treatments as well as environmental applications
of nanotechnology (and the policy that guides them), will have wide
socio-environmental impact with strong implications for personal and
collective cognitive liberty.
CCLE Advisor Zack Lynch at Univ. Pennsylvania
Monday, September 19th
Monday, CCLE advisor Zack Lynch, gave an invited presentation at the
University of Pennsylvania's Center for Neuroscience on "Our Emerging
Neurosociety: How Neurotechnology is Shaping Business, Politics and
Culture." Zack Lynch is managing director with NeuroInsights, a company
offering comprehensive strategic market analysis on the neurotechnology
Wrye Sententia Appointed Fellow of the Institute for Ethics & Emerging
The Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies (IEET), through its
Relationships, Community and Technology Program, examines how technologies
can support and improve the quality of relationships, families and
communities. How can emerging technologies allow people to control their
experience of trust, love, lust, jealousy, loyalty, fear, aggression and
hatred, and to what effect? How can we preserve human choice and freedom in
a world where people can change their own desires and motivations?
Look for contributions from Wrye and other IEET Fellows at the website
"Supreme Futurology": New York Times Magazine features
John G. Roberts Jr. v. The Future (Jeffrey Rosen)
If John G. Roberts Jr. is confirmed as Chief Justice of the US Supreme
Court, his appointment will impact national policy on personal freedom for
decades to come. Concerns raised by the CCLE over cognitive profiling, brain
privacy, and techniques like brain fingerprinting are among those addressed
in this recent New York Times article addressing 21st century legal issues
and Roberts views of them.
Cognitive Liberty & the Supreme Court featured on Women's Bioethics Project
Attorney Linda MacDonald Glenn places in context views of Supreme Court
Justice nominee John G. Roberts, Jr. (see above) and draws readers'
attention to the CCLE's forward-looking involvement in national legal issues
concerning freedom of thought. For further resources on the CCLE's
involvement with the US Supreme Court, see:
Cognitive Liberty Book Resources
The CCLE's work on freedom of thought, drugs and other technologies is
increasingly being cited or relied upon by others. Look for mentions or
discussions of cognitive liberty in these and other recent and
forthcoming book publications:
Michael Gazzaniga, (2005) The Ethical Brain. Dana Press.
James Hughes, (2004) Citizen Cyborg. Westview Press.
Roger Walsh & Charles S. Grob, eds. (2005) Higher Wisdom: Eminent Elders
Explore the Continuing Impact of Psychedelics. SUNY Press.
The Ethical Eye: Drug Addiction (2005)
Read what the Council of Europe is saying about coming issues of drug
policy, called out in the CCLE's 2004 Pharmacotherapy Report
From the Publisher's Synopsis of The Ethical Eye:
"Can a drug addict be forced to seek treatment? Should preventive screening
be made systematic, particularly in the workplace? Do some information and
education policies not have the effect of legitimizing, or even
trivializing, drug use? Is the financial cost of treatment justified in the
light of society's other needs?"
Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts. (forthcoming 2006)
International Business Management Book (featuring Richard Glen Boire's
paper, titled "Civil Liberties for the Mind")
James Canton, (forthcoming 2006) The Extreme Future. Dutton Press.
Jonathan Moreno, (forthcoming 2006) Is There an Ethicist in the House?
Indiana University Press.
Conferences & Events
Thursday, September 22, and Friday, September 23, Palo Alto, CA
Comparing Responses to New Human Technologies
Thurs/Fri 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Saturday, September 24 9:00 am to noon
Stanford Law School Rooms 180 (Thursday) and 290 (Friday and Saturday)
How do France and the United States, two countries that are hosts to
similarly sophisticated biotechnology R&D but that have significantly
different philosophical, cultural, and political styles, address advances in
the biological sciences, in particular neurosciences? Speakers include Henri
Atlan, Paul Berg, Tania Bubela, Alta Charo, Luc Couay, Anne Fagot-Largeault,
Hank Greely, David Magnus, Jennifer Merchant, Françoise Petry, Jean-Paul
Renard, John Robertson, Moishe Yaniv, Laurie Zoloth, and others.
November 20th-22nd 2005
Beckley Foundation's Second Annual Global Drug Policy Seminar
House of Lords, Palace of Westminster, London
(invitation only event; summary record of proceedings to follow)
Senior politicians, policy officials and world-recognized experts convene
debate the latest evidence and challenges in national and international drug
policy. Held, as last year, in the grand surroundings of the House of Lords,
London, the event incorporates four interlinked meetings - A Main Policy
Seminar, a second Seminar jointly hosted with the UK Government looking at
scientific changes to patterns of psychoactive drug use in the next 20
years, an Academic Symposium, and a meeting of the International Drug Policy
Consortium. This is a unique opportunity to debate, in a respectful and
confidential atmosphere, real policy dilemmas in this difficult area of
MIT conference on The Future of the Brain
Thursday, December 1, 2005
In conjunction with the opening of MIT's new brain and cognitive sciences
complex, the Picower Institute will host some of the world's most eminent
neuroscientists and molecular biologists, including five Nobel laureates,
who will gather to discuss future developments in brain research. The
symposium will also examine the relationship between the human brain and the
mind and will look at the possible impact of research about learning and
memory on human health.
Speakers include neuroscientists/biologists/chemists: Dr. Richard Axel, Dr.
Sydney Brenner, Dr. Eric Kandel, Dr. Christoph Koch; Dr. James Watson;
Dr. Alexander Shulgin; author Oliver Sacks; MIT President Susan
Hockfield, and many others.
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