Bioethics Blogs

The “Brains” Behind the Bioethics Commission and Why a Multidisciplinary Approach is the Smartest Approach

Last month the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) was excited to take part in the first-ever White House BRAIN Conference. As a part of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, President Obama asked the Bioethics Commission to review the ethical issues associated with neuroscience research. In May, the Commission released Gray Matters: Integrative Approaches for Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society, the first of two volumes the Commission will produce in response to the President’s request. Vol. 2 is slated for release in spring 2015. The Bioethics Commission is pleased to play a key role in ensuring the incorporation of ethical considerations into neuroscience research, but just who are the brains behind those who advise about BRAIN?

“Our Commission is as multidisciplinary as a commission could be,” said Commission Chair Amy Gutmann, Ph.D., in a video from the Bioethics Commission. The newly posted video highlights the multidisciplinary nature of the group, and why it is critical that its members hail from a variety of fields.

“Bioethics touches so many aspects of medicine, of science, and of society, and I think it’s magnificent the way that our Commission is so diverse in terms of the backgrounds and perspectives of the people who are on the Commission,” says Commission Member Stephen Hauser, M.D.

“We have many different perspectives on very complex problems,” says Gutmann, “and if you put them all together and deliberate together, and you deliberate in public, I think we maximize the information, knowledge, and understanding that we can bring to bear on any bioethical issue.”

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.