Nature Reviews Neuroscience 6, 977-982 (December 2005) | doi:10.1038/nrn1808

Science and societyInternational perspectives on engaging the public in neuroethics

Judy Illes1, Colin Blakemore2, Mats G. Hansson3, Takao K. Hensch4, Alan Leshner5, Gladys Maestre6, Pierre Magistretti7, Rémi Quirion8 & Piergiorgio Strata9  About the authors


With an ever-increasing understanding of the brain mechanisms associated with core human attributes and values, there is an increasing public interest in the results of neuroscience research and the ways in which that new knowledge will be used. Here, we present perspectives on engaging the public on these issues on an international scale, the role of the media, and prospects for the new field of neuroethics as both a focus and a driver of these efforts.

Author affiliations

  1. Judy Illes is at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, Department of Radiology, 701 Welch Road, Building A, Suite 1105, Palo Alto, California 94304-5748, USA.
  2. Colin Blakemore is at the University Laboratory of Physiology, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT, UK, and the Medical Research Council, London, UK.
  3. Mats G. Hansson is at Uppsala University, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences (IFV), Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden, and the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
  4. Takao K. Hensch is at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako-shi, Saitama, 351-0198, Japan.
  5. Alan Leshner is at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20005, USA.
  6. Gladys Maestre is at the Institute of Biological Research, Department of Neuroscience, University of Zulia School of Medicine, Apartado Postal 10.277, Maracaibo Zulia 4002, Venezuela.
  7. Pierre Magistretti is at the Institut de Physiologie, University of Lausanne, 7 Rue du Bugnon, Lausanne 1005, Switzerland, and the Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland.
  8. Rémi Quirion is at the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, 6875 Boulevard LaSalle, Verdun QC H4H 1R3, Canada.
  9. Piergiorgio Strata is at the Rita Levi Montalcini Center for Brain Repair, Department of Neuroscience, University of Turin, Corso Raffaello 30, 10125 Turin, Italy.

Correspondence to: Judy Illes1 Email:


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