For several decades now, neuroscientists have used technology to produce images of the brain in action.  But what do such pictures tell us?  Should they change the way we think about personal identity and free will?  Can they reveal whether a person is capable of making moral decisions, or whether a person is telling the truth?  If so, brain imaging technology seems to hold great promise for the criminal justice system.  However, allowing brain scans to be used as evidence in trials for conviction or sentencing raises many questions about the nature of responsibility, the nature of fairness, and the public perception of science and technology.

The 2011 LSSP symposium, Ethics & the Brain, will bring to campus seven leading researchers from the fields of neuroscience, law, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and theology to discuss these issues. 

The symposium will take place on the flagship campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.  It is free and open to the university community and the public and is designed to encourage dialogue across methodologies and backgrounds.


Symposium Information


Affiliated Events

1050H Honors seminar: Ethics and the Brain
University of Missouri

Film Series
MU Museum of Art & Archaeology

  • A Clockwork Orange, February 17

Trolley problem reenactment
University of Missouri

Film series with discussion
Ragtag Cinema

  • Cold Souls, March 9
  • In Search of Memory, March 16

“Controlling Heredity: The American Eugenics Crusade 1870-1940”: University of Missouri Libraries Exhibit
Ellis Library, University of Missouri

“Visions of Transparency: The Human Body and Social Order,"Ellis Library, University of Missouri

  • by Stefani Engelstein
  • opening lecture for Eugenics exhibit

Brain-research poster session
Life Sciences Center
More on poster submission...

American Society for Neurochemistry
42nd Annual Meeting

St. Louis, MO

Journalism ethics mini-conference
School of Journalism


For more information,
contact Stefani Engelstein at EngelsteinS@missouri.edu
or Karla Carter at Carterka@missouri.edu

Call for posters for Brain Awareness Week


In conjunction with the 7th annual Life Sciences & Society Symposium:
Ethics & the Brain, March 18-20

Poster submissions are invited on any topic in or related to neuroscience and/or cognitive neuroscience. Research related to ethics and neuroscience is particularly welcome.
We encourage submissions from all fields and disciplines. Information and advice is available for anyone from a discipline not familiar with the poster format.
A prize will be awarded to the best poster.

The poster session will take place from 2:00-4:00 PM on Thurs, March 17.
Presenters should staff their posters from 2:00-3:00.

Poster session and reception in the Bond Life Sciences Center, Reading room (Rm. 171).

Please join meet your fellow presenters for a social mixer from 3:00-4:00.
We would like to encourage all faculty and students with an interest in any aspect of neuroscience and/or cognitive neuroscience to come and interact with poster submitters and presenters.

If you would like to present a poster, please submit the following information to lssp@missouri.edu by Friday, Feb. 25:

  • Your Name
  • Your Title (e.g., graduate student, Assistant Professor, Research Scientist, etc.)
  • Your Department
  • Poster title
  • 150-word abstract

The poster boards are 4x4 feet square. Your poster can cover the entire space or whatever portion of the space you choose, but should not exceed the board size.

Registration for the 7th annual Life Sciences & Society Symposium:
Ethics & the Brain, March 18-20
is now open. The symposium is free and open to the public.


Sponsors & Partners

Mizzou Advantage: Understanding and Managing Transformative and Disruptive Technologies MU Libraries
Mizzou Advantage: Media of the Future The Smith/Patterson Lecture Series, School of Journalism
Mizzou Advantage: One Health, One Medicine MU Center for Arts & Humanities
MU School of Medicine Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Group
MU School of Journalism Center for Health Ethics
MU College of Arts and Science MU Honors College
MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Ragtag Cinema
MU School of Law MU Libraries
Chancellor’s Distinguished Visitor Fund
Saturday Morning Science
Chancellor’s Fund for Excellence The Columbia Tribune
MU Office of Research MU Museum of Art & Archaeology
Bond Life Sciences Center MU Conference Office
MU Conference Office © 2010
The Sixth Annual Life Sciences & Society Symposia