From NeuroSelves to NeuroSocieties: Cross-Disciplinary Conversations around the Neurosciences and Society

An interdisciplinary conference: June 11 and 12, 2012
Hosted by the Foundation for Psychocultural Research/Hampshire College Program in Culture, Brain, and Development
Attendance by invitation only


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.

Conference Structure:

The conference will consist of two keynote addresses and five interdisciplinary, topic-based panels. Each panelist will present his/her research; after which the panel will be open for discussion and a question and answer period.


Monday, June 11, 2012

10 a.m.: Opening Remarks by Conference Director

  • Laura Sizer, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy, dean of the School of Cognitive Science, and associate director of the FPR-HC Program in Culture, Brain, and Development, Hampshire College

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Keynote Address

1:00-2:40 p.m.: Panel: Neuroscience in the Courtroom

  • Jane Campbell Moriarty, J.D., professor of law, Carol Los Mansmann Chair in Faculty Scholarship, and associate dean for faculty scholarship, Duquesne University School of Law
  • Barbara Bottalico, Ph.D. candidate, Doctoral School of Comparative and European Legal Studies, University of Torento, Italy; fellow, European Center for Law, Science, and New Technologies, University of Pavia, Italy
  • John Fennel, J.D., Ph.D., staff attorney, Committee for Public Counsel Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Nicole Martinez, J.D., Greenwall Fellow in Bioethics and Health Policy, Johns Hopkins University and Georgetown University

3:00-4:40 p.m.: Panel: Neurocultures and the Social Brain

  • Maria V. Malyk, Ph.D. candidate, department of sociology, Rutgers University
  • Maria Islas-Lopez, Ph.D. candidate, department of sociology, Rutgers University
  • Karen Danna, Ph.D., FPR-HC Program in Culture, Brain, and Development postdoctoral fellow, Hampshire College
  • Saskia K. Nagel, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher, Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Osnabruck, Germany

4:50-6:30 p.m.: Panel: Embodied Minds and Gendered Brains: The Case for Neurofeminism

  • Victoria Pitts-Taylor, Ph.D., professor of sociology, director of the Center for the Study of Women and Society, and coordinator of women's studies, City University of New York, Graduate Center; professor of sociology, Queens College, CUNY
  • Jane Couperus, Ph.D., associate professor of developmental cognitive neuroscience, director of the FPR-HC Program in Culture, Brain, and Development, Hampshire College
  • Jennifer Hamilton, Ph.D., assistant professor of legal studies and anthropology, Hampshire College
  • Banu Subramaniam, Ph.D., associate professor of women, gender and sexuality studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Angela Willey, Ph.D., Five College assistant professor of feminist science studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Hampshire College, and Mount Holyoke College

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

9:00-10:30 a.m.: Keynote Address

  • Peter B. Reiner, V.M.D, Ph.D, professor and co-founder of the National Core for Neuroethics, member of the Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research, Department of Psychiatry and Brain Research Center, University of British Columbia

10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Panel: Clinical and Social Neurointerventions

  • Laura Cabrera, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow, Institute for Biomedical Ethics, Basel University, Switzerland
  • David Matuskey, M.D., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine
  • Patrick Taylor, Ph.D. candidate, Neuroscience and Behavior Program, University of Massachusetts Amherst; graduate research fellow, FPR-HC Program in Culture, Brain, and Development, Hampshire College
  • Jonathan Westphal, Ph.D., visiting professor of philosophy, Hampshire College

1:30-3:10 p.m.: Panel: Neuroethics and the Moral Mind

  • Jesse Prinz, Ph.D., distinguished professor of philosophy, Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • Chris Zarpentine, Ph.D., associate instructor of philosophy, University of Utah
  • Tommaso Bruni, Ph.D. candidate, Foundations and Ethics of the Life Sciences, University of Milan, Italy; visiting fellow, department of psychology, Harvard University
  • Luis Vila-Henninger, Ph.D. candidate, department of sociology, University of Arizona

 3:10-3:30 p.m.: Closing Remarks by Conference Director