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…

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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…

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Can you be cloned?

Why can we feel metaphysical nausea at the thought of cloned humans? I guess it has to do with how we, without giving ourselves sufficient time to reflect, are captivated by a simple image of individuality and cloning. The image then controls our thinking. We may imagine that cloning consists in multiplying our unique individuality in the…

Dealing with responsible research & dual use in the Human Brain Project

EBRAINS is a new digital research infrastructure created by the EU-funded Human Brain Project (HBP) that gathers an extensive range of data and tools for brain-related research. EBRAINS capitalises on the work performed by the HBP teams in digital neuroscience, brain medicine, brain-inspired technology and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). On 16 June, we held…

Webinar 16 June: Addressing dual-use research of concern

Advances in neuroscience and neurotechnology come with promises of new treatments but they also present important societal and ethical concerns including those of dual-use, misuse, and unintended use. Over the past eight years, the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) team of the Human Brain Project (HBP) has undertaken research, engagement, and co-creation activities in collaboration with…

Ethically responsible robot development

Development of new technologies sometimes draws inspiration from nature. How do plants and animals solve the problem? An example is robotics, where one wants to develop better robots based on what neuroscience knows about the brain. How does the brain solve the problem? Neuroscience, in turn, sees new opportunities to test hypotheses about the brain…

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Neuroethics in big brain initiatives

Many ethical and social issues are raised by neuroscientific findings, but neuroscience can also help answer fundamental questions. From the nature of consciousness and morality to the existence of a free will, to name a few. To identify and manage issues raised by brain research, anticipation, reflection, and cross-disciplinary dialogue are key. In a recent…

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How can we ensure responsible neurorobotics?

Neurorobotics exists at the intersection of neuroscience and robotics. Some of the ethical concerns raised by the technology are inherited by its parent(s). Worker safety, systems reliability, and unconscious biases, to name a few. But with new technology comes new ethical and social challenges. A recent publication offers an important first step towards responsible neurorobotics.…

Dual-use in neuroscience: Beyond the civil-military dichotomy

Neuroscience is one of the most promising technologies of this century, with potential for great benefits in health, technology and economy. How can we promote the benefits and minimise the harms of this powerful technology? Inga Ulnicane makes the case for involving scientists and engineers in the process of identifying the dual uses of their…