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Security implications and governance of cognitive neuroscience: An ethnographic survey of researchers

  • Margaret E. Kosal (a1) and Jonathan Y. Huang (a2)
Abstract

In recent years, significant efforts have been made toward elucidating the potential of the human brain. Spanning fields as disparate as psychology, biomedicine, computer science, mathematics, electrical engineering, and chemistry, research venturing into the growing domains of cognitive neuroscience and brain research has become fundamentally interdisciplinary. Among the most interesting and consequential applications to international security are the military and defense community’s interests in the potential of cognitive neuroscience findings and technologies. In the United States, multiple governmental agencies are actively pursuing such endeavors, including the Department of Defense, which has invested over $3 billion in the last decade to conduct research on defense-related innovations. This study explores governance and security issues surrounding cognitive neuroscience research with regard to potential security-related applications and reports scientists’ views on the role of researchers in these areas through a survey of over 200 active cognitive neuroscientists.

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Corresponding author
Correspondence: Margaret E. Kosal, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology, 781 Marietta Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. Email: margaret.kosal@inta.gatech.edu
Linked references
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Irene Tracey  and Rod Flower , “The warrior in the machine: Neuroscience goes to war,” Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2014, 15(12): 825834.

Rose McDermott , “The feeling of rationality: The meaning of neuroscientific advances for political science,” Perspectives on Politics, 2004, 2(4): 691706.

Jennifer Wild , “Brain-imaging ready to detect terrorists, say neuroscientists,” Nature, 2005, 437(7058): 457.

Turhan Canli , Susan Brandon , William Casebeer , Philip J. Crowley , Don DuRousseau , Henry Greely , and Alvaro Pascual-Leone , “Neuroethics and national security,” American Journal of Bioethics, 2007, 7(5): 313.

Leah Rosenberg  and Eric Gehrie , “Against the use of medical technologies for military or national security interests,” American Journal of Bioethics, 2007, 7(5): 22–24.

Gina Rippon  and Carl Senior , “Neuroscience has no role in national security,” AJOB Neuroscience, 2010, 1(2): 3738.

James Giordano , Chris Forsythe , and James Olds , “Neuroscience, neurotechnology, and national security: The need for preparedness and an ethics of responsible action,” AJOB Neuroscience, 2010, 1(2): 3536.

Jonathan H. Marks , “A neuroskeptic’s guide to neuroethics and national security,” AJOB Neuroscience, 2010, 1(2): 412.

Luis Justo  and Fabiana Erazun , “Neuroethics and human rights,” American Journal of Bioethics, 2007, 7(5): 1617.

John Lunstroth  and Jan Goldman , “Ethical intelligence from neuroscience: Is it possible?American Journal of Bioethics, 2007, 7(5): 1820.

David Resnik , “Neuroethics, national security, and secrecy,” American Journal of Bioethics, 2007, 7(5): 15.

Nathan Dinneen , “Precautionary discourse: Thinking through the distinction between the precautionary principle and the precautionary approach in theory and practice,” Politics and the Life Sciences, 2013, 32(1): 221.

Margaret E. Kosal , Nanotechnology for Chemical and Biological Defense (New York: Springer, 2009), pp. 8997.

Elke Kurz-Milcke  and Gerd Gigerenzer , Experts in Science and Society (New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2004).

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Politics and the Life Sciences
  • ISSN: 0730-9384
  • EISSN: 1471-5457
  • URL: /core/journals/politics-and-the-life-sciences
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