22 November 2008

Protesting ethics

PACE conference protest posterYesterday, I gave a talk at an ethics conference hosted at UTPA (mentioned here). I was talking about ethical implications relating to brain scans. I've been interested in this for a while, and some elements of my talk were taken from a presentation I gave in 2006 for Brain Awareness week.

I missed the opening of the conference on Thursday, but I saw the aftermath of the opening. There were protesters. I'm not sure if I've given a talk at a conference that had visible protesters before. I probably have, since I've been at Neuroscience conferences in Washington, D.C., which is protest central, but if there were, the protests were so low-key that I didn't recall.

The protests revolves around a center established on campus that was funded through a security office of the American government. Some argue that this money has strings attached and compromises the university. I will not comment on the general, but will say something about my specific involvement.

There was zero editorial influence on my talk from anyone other than me. It was just like any other conference in that regard.


A simple question... said...

I still don't get what their issue was...?

Diane said...

I don't know what their issue was either. In any case, this poster was made in haste.

I enjoyed your presentation. I think the fMRI technology would work better if one did not have to be processed in a "pizza oven", but somehow make the fMRI more portable so that the subject could sit and have some mobility when being questioned.