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Neurotechnology and society : Strengthening responsible innovation in brain science

OECD2018.01.12

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Large-scale research and development programmes in neuroscience are giving rise to a host of new approaches, techniques and capacities to understand, read and intervene in the human brain. Some of these technologies reframe how we understand mental health and cognition, while others promise new applications for treating disease and even enhancing human capabilities. These developments in neuroscience and associated technologies have many ethical, legal and social implications including issues of product safety, human enhancement, dual use, privacy, and human identity. There is broad agreement among stakeholders that social aspects of brain research must be examined alongside the scientific and technical ones. In fact, good ideas for achieving such integration have emerged within the field of governance of emerging technology and within the national brain initiatives themselves. This report identifies, and seeks to address, key challenges for realising the responsible development of neurotechnology. In particular, the report analyses frameworks and mechanisms for integrating social concerns in the early development of technology, and discusses best practices for research funders across the public and private sector.

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