Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ethical considerations of military-funded neuroscience

Date:
March 20, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
The United States military and intelligence communities have developed a close relationship with the scientific establishment. In particular, they fund and utilize an array of neuroscience applications, generating profound ethical issues. Neuroscience offers possibilities for cutting edge, deployable solutions for the needs of national security and defense, but are, or at least should be, tempered by questions of scientific validity, consequential ethical considerations, and concern for the relationship between science and security.

The United States military and intelligence communities have developed a close relationship with the scientific establishment. In particular, they fund and utilize an array of neuroscience applications, generating profound ethical issues.

Neuroscience offers possibilities for cutting edge, deployable solutions for the needs of national security and defence, but are, or at least should be, tempered by questions of scientific validity, consequential ethical considerations, and concern for the relationship between science and security. This debate is explored in an essay by Jonathan D Moreno and Michael N Tennison, published March 20 in the online, open-access journal PLoS Biology.

Rapid advances in basic neuroscience over the last decade facilitate many "dual use" applications; those of both military and civilian interest. Neuroscientists who receive military funding may not fully appreciate the potentially lethal implications of their work. This paper seeks to cultivate a culture of dual use awareness, in both the scientific community and the general public.

For example, brain-computer interfaces, which have already been used to make monkeys control walking robots remotely, could enable humans to operate military devices while sheltered from the reality of combat. Also, research suggests that neuromodulation technologies, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, could be used to enhance or suppress certain neurological capacities of soldiers on the battlefield. In addition, neuroscientific deception detection, while putatively performing better than traditional 'lie-detector' polygraphs, raises questions of reliability and privacy.

The authors suggest that issues such as these "need to be addressed to ensure the pragmatic synthesis of ethical accountability and national security." Just as many nuclear scientists of the time discussed the issues of using of atomic weapons, contributing to the test ban treaties of the 1960s, neuroscientists of today could engage the ethical, legal, and social implications of the militarization of their work.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael N. Tennison, Jonathan D. Moreno. Neuroscience, Ethics, and National Security: The State of the Art. PLoS Biology, 2012; 10 (3): e1001289 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001289

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Ethical considerations of military-funded neuroscience." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120320195800.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, March 20). Ethical considerations of military-funded neuroscience. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120320195800.htm
Public Library of Science. "Ethical considerations of military-funded neuroscience." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120320195800.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Urgent-Care Clinics Ill-Equipped to Treat Ebola

Urgent-Care Clinics Ill-Equipped to Treat Ebola

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Urgent-care clinics popping up across the US are not equipped to treat a serious illness like Ebola and have been told to immediately call a hospital and public health officials if they suspect a patient may be infected. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins