In addition to money for research, the federal Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative included a request to review the ethical issues around neuroscience research and the ethical implications of what researchers may discover. Last week, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues released its first report, Gray Matters: Integrative Approaches for Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society. It focuses on research; a second report will focus on implications.
The commission recommends that questions and discussion of ethics should be integrated at every stage of science research: learning science in schools, planning and performing studies, through to publishing and discussing results. Here’s the 4-point summary (from pp. 43–5 of the report):