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…

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…

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,…

Increasingly big data & the pressing need for international data governance of neuroscience

Understanding the brain requires great effort and the scale of neuroscience research projects is increasing to scale. This means crossing borders in big international research initiatives, and as a result being subject to national and international laws, regulations and policies in both data collection and transfer. While neuroscience data transcends borders, data governance typically stays…

Building an EBRAINS community in Africa

Why is EBRAINS engaging in community building activities? EBRAINS has made a commitment to build a scientific research infrastructure that empowers empirical and theoretical neuroscience that is of relevance to a highly diverse and collaborative neuroscience community. We understand that ‘the success of the EBRAINS research infrastructure will depend on its ability to mobilise the…

brain

Neuroimages, artificial intelligence & re-identification of research subjects

Taking images of the brain using magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI for short, also captures the face. For a long time, techniques that remove facial features from neuroimages have allowed for open sharing of anonymised neuroimages. But new developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning have made it possible to re-create the removed facial features…

Designing a responsible neuroscience research infrastructure

Over the past 8 years, the Human Brain Project (HBP) has tested the strengths and limitations of responsible research & innovation, also known as RRI. To mark the ten-year anniversary of RRI, a group of HBP researchers now share what can be learned from implementing this concept in a large multi-disciplinary research project. This includes…

neurons

Can AI be conscious? Let us think about the question

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has achieved remarkable results in recent decades, especially thanks to the refinement of an old and for a long time neglected technology called Deep Learning (DL), a class of machine learning algorithms. Some achievements of DL had a significant impact on public opinion thanks to important media coverage, like the cases of the…

How do we take responsibility for dual-use research?

We are more often than we think governed by old patterns of thought. As a philosopher, I find it fascinating to see how mental patterns capture us, how we get imprisoned in them, and how we can get out of them. With that in mind, I recently read a book chapter on something that is…