AJOB Neuroscience.

Neuroethics at 10, and Counting

In the Penfield Papers of the Montreal Neurological Institute, neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield (1891–1976) wrote:

Neurology is the greatest, I think, the most important unexplored field in the whole of science. Certainly our ignorance and the amount to be learned is just as that of outer space. … The secrets of the brain and mind are hidden still. The interrelationships of mind and brain are perhaps something we will never be quite sure of. (Augustine 2008, 1)

Clearly we have come a long way since Penfield’s musings. The field of neuroscience is now a powerful, leading-edge field of science, and has answered many of the questions Penfield posed. About 10 years ago, bioethicists and others became active in this field, and one gathering in San Francisco in 2002, “Neuroethics: Mapping the Field,” was a milestone event signaling that movement. At this decade mark, it is time to look back and reflect, and to look forward and plan for the future.

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Volume 4, Issue 1
February 2013


Neuroethics at 10, and Counting Judy Illes & Paul Root Wolpe