News and Commentary Archive

Explore recent scientific discoveries and news as well as CLBB events, commentary, and press.

Mission

The speed of technology in neuroscience as it impacts ethical and just decisions in the legal system needs to be understood by lawyers, judges, public policy makers, and the general public. The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior is an academic and professional resource for the education, research, and understanding of neuroscience and the law. Read more

WATCH — New Technologies, New Dilemmas

New technologies with implications for human health and enhancement are developing at breakneck speed, with fundamental changes in genomic medicine, reproductive technology, neuroscience, and even how we die. Each of these technologies raises important questions at the intersection of ethics, law, and politics. What role should the government have in regulating scientific innovation? How should we weigh potential risks and benefits, to individuals, vulnerable populations, and even the environment? Can these technologies be used to promote justice, or do they risk entrenching existing disparities? Glenn Cohen ‘03, faculty director, Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School; Judith Edersheim ‘85, co-founder and co-director, Center for Law, Brain and Behavior, Harvard Medical School; Atul Gawande, executive director of Ariadne Labs; and Eric Lander, president and founding director of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, discussed these pressing questions, and more, from their perspectives as lawyers, scientists, and clinicians. Carmel Shachar ‘10 hosted the panel. Their talk was part of the HLS in the World bicentennial summit which took place at Harvard Law School on Friday, October 27, 2017. Read more: http://200.hls.harvard.edu/

Watch video of the entire event here!

 

CLBB and Harvard Law School announce “Joint Venture in Law and Neuroscience;” Pain Fellow

306115_10150591296547062_163009943_nNeuroscience is rapidly increasing our understanding of human behavior. As our understanding grows, so should the law and policy which is concerned with these behaviors. New neuroscientific knowledge has many imminent implications for the legal realm, including questions of responsibility, memory, and the role of neuroscientific evidence in the courtroom.

With already-established programs in seminal areas at the intersection of law and neuroscience, including criminal responsibility, lie detection, financial decision making, and memory, CLBB looks forward to producing scholarship in a new program area, pain & suffering.

Beginning Fall 2014, CLBB and the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School will launch a joint “Project on Law and Applied Neuroscience.” The collaboration, which will extend through 2016, will include a Senior Fellow-in-residence, research and public symposia devoted to a specific issue at the intersection of neuroscience and law, and a Law and Neuroscience Seminar taught at Harvard Law School by the Hon. Nancy Gertner. Amanda Pustilnik, JD will be the Project’s first Senior Fellow in Law & Applied Neuroscience, in 2014-2015, focusing on scholarship on the role of pain in legal domains.

Pustilnik is currently a Professor of Law at the University of Maryland School of Law and a CLBB faculty member. In Cambridge, Pustilnik will pursue research, mentoring, and public engagement related to issues of pain and the law. Pustilnik will also be involved in the execution of expert symposia and public events to promote focused discussion on questions at the intersection of pain, addictions, and the law.

Professor Nancy Gertner’s Law and Neuroscience Seminar will introduce students to this complex and growing translational field. The Hon. Gertner is a member of Harvard Law, Petrie-Flom, and CLBB Faculty. The course will be cross-listed for Harvard Medical School students, and will draw on HLS and CLBB’s interdisciplinary legal and scientific faculty.

For more on the Petrie-Flom Center, see their website and bioethics blog.

The press release is available here.