Soap bubble, Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Transparency, accountability and the management of interests in scientific research projects

Managing conflicts of interest is particularly important for a large publicly funded research project such as the Human Brain Project. It should not be reduced to a simplistic and narrow compliance requirement; instead, it should be considered through a wider lens as an exercise that encourages reflection on how an individual’s different activities and commitments…

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Responsible management of conflicting interests: An example of the dialogue-oriented approach in the Human Brain Project

I would like to start this blog post, which should be read in conjunction with the post by Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, by thanking Kristin for her work and underlining that I see it as an outstanding example of the fruitful collaboration on ethical issues in the Human Brain Project (HBP).  A few years ago we…

Network, image by Gerd Altmann, Pixabay

Re-envisioning RoI in EU research initiatives: leveraging the HBP experience for EBRAINS

There is a need to re-think RoI in EU-wide research initiatives. In this blog, the Human Brain Project‘s Ethics Advisory Board (EAB) focuses on how we can leverage the HBP experience toward EBRAINS and a culture of reflective science practices by design. This is a text written by Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, member of the EAB.…

A capacity-building programme for responsible brain research and innovation

Is responsible neuroscience research or innovation something you would like to get better at? Would you like to join other like-minded researchers, scientists and tech innovators to reflect on societal concerns of big neuroscience infrastructure like EBRAINS? Then, the capacity building programme on responsible innovation run by the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) team at…

neurons

Responsibility key to implementing guidelines for treating disorders of consciousness

A disorder of consciousness is a state where consciousness has been affected by devastating damage to the brain. The diagnosis and health care of patients suffering from these disorders raise several clinical as well as ethical issues. And researchers are still looking for ways to solve them. Recent guidelines, European and American, offer important recommendations…

Supporting Researchers in Dealing with Social, Ethical and Regulatory Issues – the EMBRACE project

Future and emerging technology (FET) research aims to create radically novel ideas and technologies that can disrupt and transform human lives, businesses and society as a whole. The European Commission has funded such research in its FET stream of research funding which has now been renamed as “EIC Pathfinder” programme.  Such transformative research can be…

Indicators and criteria of consciousness for behaviourally unresponsive patients

Identifying and quantifying residual consciousness in patients with disorders of consciousness is notoriously challenging but increasingly urgent. There is a high rate of misdiagnosis among patients suffering from these disorders, particularly between vegetative states/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome and minimally conscious states. A recent BMC Medical Ethics publication explores how operational indicators previously introduced to assess consciousness…

neurons

#BlackInHBP: Statements from Black HBP members

This text was prepared jointly by Damian Okaibedi Eke, Mathew Abrams, Simi Akintoye, George Ogoh, Paschal Ochang, and Oluyinka Oyeniji on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 21st March is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This offers an occasion to especially reflect on and highlight…

Constructing an EU agency for AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) offers great promise in terms of societal and economic benefits. But it also raises numerous ethical and human rights concerns as the technology might inherit and exacerbate flaws that are already present in society. There have been numerous calls for the regulation and legislation of AI, most prominently the EU’s 2021 proposal…

Diversity in Brain Research: Does it matter? 18 May 2022

Webinar 18 May 2022: Diversity in Brain Research: Does it matter?

To which extent are brain functions affected by sex hormones? Are sex differences at the level of stem cells relevant? Is it possible to differentiate biological sex from other factors that can influence the brain, like culture or life experiences? Can it be ethically justified to only study homogenous groups when diagnosing and treating diseases,…