International Neuroethics Society award winners announced

By Scott Danielson, Center for Practical Wisdom

The International Neuroethics Society (INS) has a mission to encourage and inspire research and dialogue on the responsible use of advances in brain science, and toward this end hosts an annual essay contest to explore the interface between ethics, neuroscience, and society in plain language for the general public. This month, Jean Boulware, Assistant Director of Communications and Research at the University of Chicago Center for Practical Wisdom, won the international essay contest for a science communication essay.

Boulware's essay titled Not our problem? The neuroethical implications of youth detainment examines the lasting effects of detainment on youth, making specific reference to the recent American policy of family separation and detainment at the US Mexico border. The article points to neuroscience research demonstrating notable and lasting detriments to well-being associated with detainment including but not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, memory deficits, and decreased attention. Youth detainment, Boulware notes, is not just a border issue. About 50,000 youth currently reside in correctional facilities in the United States, likely suffering the same traumas and developmental detriments. Her powerful and timely essay shines a light on the lasting impact detainment may have on a child's life. She calls for reform for children separated from their families at the border and for the tens of thousands incarcerated youth across America.

In addition to the science communication essay, Elizabeth Ingram of North Carolina State University won the academic essay segment for a paper titled Personhood: Projection or perception. Her topic focused on bioethics in regards to human concepts of identity. Ingram and Boulware formally accepted their awards at the INS annual meeting, hosted this year in San Diego, California. Poster presentation awards were also given in a range of categories. The awarded essays were published by the Dana Foundation, an organization focused on public education of brain research and announced in an upcoming issue of the INS Newsletter.



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