HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Saturday, September 24, 2011

International Neuroethics Society Meeting, November 11 and 12, 2011

The International Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 10, and Friday, November 11, 2011. This meeting will be held in conjunction with the meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, a 30,000 person plus meeting in Washington, D.C., which will be held from Saturday, November 12 through Wednesday, November 16, 2011. 

Of particular interest will be the law panel which will focus on neuroscience in real cases. The three speakers, each of whom was involved as a professional in one of the iconic cases involving law and neuroscience, will briefly present his thoughts on his case and then participate in a question and answer period. As described by Professor Hank Greely:   

∙  Steve Greenberg is the lawyer who introduced fMRI evidence of psychopathy into a capital sentencing case (the Dugan case in Illinois).  There's a fascinating write-up of that case in Nature magazine - 464 Nature 340 (Mar. 18, 2010). 

∙  Houston Gordon is the lawyer who tried, unsuccessfully, to introduce for the defense some fMRI lie detection evidence into a federal criminal trial. This led to a 2 day evidentiary hearing and an extensive written opinion in United States v. Semrau. 

∙  Russell Swerdlow is a neurologist who was the treating physician for a man who pleaded guilty to sexual molestation of his 12 year old step-daughter after a year or so of increasing interest in pornography.  Just before sentencing, the man was found to have a tumor the size of a chicken egg pressing on his left frontal lobe.  When the tumor was removed, the defendant reported that his urges disappeared.  He was released on probation; about 10 months later, his urges returned.  So had the tumor.  When the tumor was surgical removed again, so were the urges.  See the case report at 60 Arch. Neurol. 437 (2003). 

This session is scheduled for 2:45 to 4:00 on Friday, November 11, 2011. 

The Annual Meeting has a poster session on November 10 in the evening.  If you are interested in participating in the poster session, please submit a 500 word abstract by October 1. The top 25 abstracts will be published in an on-line issue of The American Journal of Neuroethics - Neuroscience.  Submitters of the top 5 abstracts will be presented orally at the Annual Meeting.  And the two best abstracts will win $250 each in travel reimbursement from the Society. See the Call for Abstracts here.

The meeting will be at the Carnegie Institution for Science, 1530 P Street, Washington, D.C.  Registration for the meeting is $135 for members who register before September 15 and $145 if after September 15. For any questions, please contact Professor Hank Greely. [KVT]

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