Policy Implications of the New Neuroscience

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 16 (2):169-180 (2007)
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The 1990s “Decade of the Brain” stimulated research on many fronts and resulted in considerable advancement in neuroscience. Unfortunately, we have been slow to develop a policy dialogue to anticipate and deal with vast implications. Simply put, our political and social institutions have not kept pace with these advances. At the base, policy issues center on how we interpret the implications of these developments, especially given the complexity of the subject and the speculative nature of much of the evidence to date. The issues discussed here go to the heart of the major problems facing the world today and challenge basic assumptions on both the right and the left of the political/ideological spectrum as well as the standard social science model of behavior. As a result, the findings of neuroscience are open to ideological maneuvering designed to put the most expedient spin on their meaning



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