Assistant Professor Margaret E. Kosal spoke at The Royal Society in London on Neuroscience, Conflict, and Security - "Security Implications of Cognitive Neuroscience Research".
Assistant Professor in The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Kosal spoke at The Royal Society in London on Thursday, 12 May 2011 on "Security Implications of Cognitive Neuroscience Research". The Royal Society is a fellowship of the world's most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. Kosal participated in an international workshop to investigate developments in neuroscience and their implications for society and public policy - Brain Waves Project.
Kosal said: "The dual use nature of advances in neuroscience and related technologies (as with other areas of science and technology) means they may be used for harmful as well as beneficial purposes. Current military interest includes techniques to enhance, manipulate, or degrade brain function and human performance, including the development of new weapons. These applications raise significant legal, ethical and human rights issues at the domestic and international level, and associated decisions for policy, particularly in relation to existing arms control treaties."
The high-level roundtable workshop brought together experimental scientists, engineers, and medical specialists along with social scientists and legal scholars. The technical sessions focused on neuropharmacology, functional neuroimaging, and the mind-machine interface (i.e., neural interfaces and brain computer interfaces). Other sessions, including the one at which Kosal spoke, covered the policy, legal, ethical, and dual use issues.