The Ethics of Emerging Technologies

Large crowd for the event, which was open to the public.

Large crowd for the event, which was open to the public.

At last night’s International Neuroethics Society public program, we heard from eight speakers on the ethics of emerging technologies, addressing the potential benefits and risks they raise when applied to health care.

Kate Darling, a specialist in human-robot interaction at MIT, talked about her experience with robots and her hopes and concerns for mainstream integration. She opened her presentation with a personal story from 2007, when she became the owner of a baby dinosaur robot, the size of a small cat, that responded to touch. She would often show it off to friends, demonstrating how it cried when she held it upside down. After a while, though, Darling began to notice that it upset her to hear it cry.

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A Social Approach to Tackling Zika

Social media has proven itself to be a useful tool for rekindling old friendships, networking for prospective jobs, staying up-to-date in breaking news, and now, mapping the spread of rampant epidemics. With the Zika virus the latest public health threat to make headlines, scientists have been using data from social media, blog posts, news sites, and Google search terms—to name a few—to curate models that help map the spread of the virus.

“This is a field called digital disease detection…Essentially, it tries to be the weather.com for disease outbreak,” said John Brownstein, chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital. Brownstein was joined by Johns Hopkins Medical School’s Hongjun Song at the latest in a series of Capitol Hill briefings, which took place on July 6, in Washington, DC. Together with the Dana Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has been hosting these public briefings for the last six years.

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Dana Foundation is on Instagram

You can now take a look inside the Dana Foundation on Instagram! Visit us @danafoundation and see some of the programs we support, brain related news, and our Dana staff in action. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

instagram-logo

Social Media for Science Outreach

This week and next, SpotOn is publishing a series of blogs on how to use social media for science outreach. Each day will look at a different set of themed case studies, submitted by scientists and science communicators.

According to the SpotOn website, the schedule is:

  • Tuesday: multimedia projects–using tools such as podcasts, videos, G+
    hangouts and tumblr
  • Wednesday: blogging for a research institution or other science organization
  • Thursday: blogging and using social media as an individual scientist
  • Friday: using Twitter–at conferences, for journal clubs and more
  • Monday: one-off social media
    activities–such as raising awareness of another project

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