Call for Proposals – From NeuroSelves to NeuroSocieties: Cross-Disciplinary Conversations Around the Neurosciences

Laura Sizer, Dean of the School of Cognitive Science and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hampshire College, is organizing a small conference next summer to explore “issues at the intersections of the neurosciences and the social sciences and humanities.” The conference is supported by the Foundation for Psychocultural Research – Hampshire College’s Program in Culture, Brain & Development. Below is the call for conference proposals; feel free to pass it on to interested colleagues.

From NeuroSelves to NeuroSocieties:  Cross-disciplinary Conversations Around the Neurosciences

June 11th & 12th, 2012
Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts

An interdisciplinary conference hosted by Hampshire College  and the Foundation for Psychocultural Research-Hampshire College  Program in Culture, Brain & Development.

Call for Proposals

Our understandings of self and society are being transformed by the neurosciences. At the same time neuroscience is shaped and driven by social structures such as law, media and education, and informed by fields such as sociology, anthropology, philosophy and evolutionary biology. The emerging fields of neuroethics, neurolaw and neuroeconomics are a testament to the desire to apply a better understanding of the brain to moral and social issues, but also point to a need to understand the myriad ethical, legal and cultural implications of the science itself.

This conference offers an opportunity for cross-disciplinary communication among scholars from many disciplines around how the neurosciences shape – and are shaped by – diverse social forces and cultural ideas.

We invite proposals from faculty and graduate students from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives. 

Please submit a proposal that describes your background, interest, and proposed presentation topic.  Participants will be expected to give a short presentation of how their work engages with – or could shed light on – issues at the intersections of law, philosophy, economics, ethics, or some other aspect of the cultural/social/political sphere and the neurosciences. Participants will receive a $500 stipend. Some assistance is available to help with travel costs; applicants are invited to apply for travel funding.

The conference program features two keynote speakers: Dr. Adina Roskies, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Dartmouth College, and Dr. Peter Reiner, Professor, National Core for Neuroethics and the Kinsman Laboratory of Neurological Research, Department of Psychiatry and Brain Research Center, University of British Columbia.

Presentations and panels will be structured around participant interests and proposals. For illustrative purposes only, possible topics might include (but are not limited to): changing conceptions of moral, personal or economic decision-making; diagnosis, treatment and conceptions of mental illness; ethical challenges posed by neuroscience research; art and neuroscience of creativity; social and ethical implications of neuropharmacological interventions; interactions between educational policies, practices, and the neurosciences; questions of free will and human agency; neuroscience of empathy, trust, and sociality; brain imagery and popular media; neuroscientific recasting of social problems such as addiction and violence.

Please go to http://www.hampshire.edu/cbd/22808.htm for more information about the conference and submitting a proposal. The deadline to submit proposals is February 15th, 2012.  Please send proposals and questions to Ryan McLaughlin, CBD coordinator, rmclaughlin@hampshire.edu .

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