[Neuroscience] Call for Papers - Neurosociety & Neuroeconomics

ensn from lse.ac.uk via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by caitlin.connors from gmail.com)
Fri Jun 4 08:51:32 EST 2010

What is it with the brain these days?

A two-day international conference sponsored by the Institute for
Science, Innovation and Society (InSIS), and the European Neuroscience
and Society Network (ENSN), hosted at the Sa=EFd Business School,
University of Oxford, UK.

7-8 December, 2010

Call for papers

The Institute for Science, Innovation and Society (InSIS), and the
European Neuroscience and Society Network (ENSN) are jointly
organising an international conference on 7-8 December 2010 at the
Sa=EFd Business School, University of Oxford, UK. Keynote speakers
include Professor Steve Woolgar (Oxford); Professor Nikolas Rose
(London School of Economics), Professor Nigel Thrift (Warwick
University) and Professor Gemma Calvert (Warwick University;

The topic of the conference is the rise of the brain and the emergence
of the brain industry or =91neuro markets=92. The aim is to explore how,
why, and in what ways has the figure of the brain come to permeate so
many different areas of thinking and practice in academic and
commercial life. What are the consequences for academia, business,
commerce and policy?

The last twenty years have seen unprecedented advances in the
neurosciences, in fields such as psychopharmacology, neurology and
behavioural genetics. A growing number of ethicists, social
scientists, legal scholars and philosophers have begun to analyze the
social, legal and ethical implications of these advances, from the use
of fMRI imaging in legal cases, to the medical benefits and risks of
the increasing prescription of psychotropic drugs such as Prozac and
Ritalin. Some attention has been paid to the economic questions raised
by the commercial development and application of new technologies, and
the extent to which subfields such as neuroeconomics and
neuromarketing are generating commercially and clinically valuable
findings. The conference aims to bring together academics and
practitioners from this wide range of disciplines to attempt a
critical evaluation of the current state and future prospects for
neuro thinking.

The Organising Committee welcomes proposals for individual papers
which seek to make empirically based and conceptually innovative
contributions to the analysis of the persuasive power of neuroscience
in and outside academia. We particularly welcome papers that relate to
the themes below, however we are also happy to consider contributions
which address the general topic of the conference but do not align
directly with these themes.

1) The rise and current configuration of the international

The conference seeks to map the diffusion of neuroscientific
technology and knowledge by examining in which disciplines and which
business practices the figure of the brain has become prominent and
why in other disciplines or practices this is not the case. We are
particularly interested in historical research that explores how the
prominence of the brain has come about. Can we also anticipate the
demise of the brain and what will supplant it? After eyes, skin and
brain - what will be the next site of human bodies and behaviour
which will be exploited commercially? In addition to mapping the
diffusion of the figure of the brain and exploring its historical
specificity this conference seeks to address how the brain as a trope
organises scholarly and commercial thinking in different disciplines
and business fields.

What then are the current and potential commercial application of the
brain sciences, which companies are taking the lead in bringing new
technologies to market, and how are policymakers and industry groups
lobbying to change regulatory barriers toward the use of new

2) The economic and social value of the new brain sciences

As neurological and psychiatric disorders place a significant economic
and social toll on the health of populations internationally, much
optimism surrounds the hope that developments in the neurosciences
will help to find treatments for disorders such as depression,
Alzheimer=92s, Parkinson=92s and autism spectrum disorders. To what extent
is this optimism warranted? Scholars have pointed out that a) in the
past, the development of novel biomedical technologies has often
tended to increase societal inequalities because access to them has
been available only to a minority, and b) often the expectation
surrounding new biomedical treatments exceeds the reality of their
clinical usefulness. This theme will address whether, much like the
optimism surrounding the benefit of advances in pharmacogenomics and
gene therapy, the clinical usefulness of advances in the neurosciences
has been exaggerated. In addition, we welcome papers that critically
address the commercialisation of the new brain sciences and its
implications for research priorities.
3) The ethical and social implications of biomarkets and

Neuroeconomics - combining psychology, economics and neuroscience in
order to understand the neural and social impulses behind decision-
making =96 and neuromarketing - the study of the brain=92s response to
advertising techniques - are promising to revolutionize the fields of
marketing and consumer choice. What are the likely consequences of
this? What are the implications for consumer autonomy, the rise and
pervasiveness of brand and advertising cultures, and the increasing
adoption of reductive and/or deterministic models of human behaviour
and decision-making? This theme will address the social, economic and
political implications of new developments in neuroeconomics and
neuromarketing, through drawing on the insights of ethicists,
clinicians and industry representatives.

There is no cost for the event, but accommodation and travel expenses
are not provided. Please send abstracts (300 =96 600 words) to
insisevents from sbs.ox.ac.uk. Deadline for submission of abstracts is July
1, 2010. For any queries, please contact co-convenor of the meeting,
Dr. Tanja Schneider: tanja.schneider from sbs.ox.ac.uk

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