Volume 12 Issue 1 - 2020
Mapping the Past, Present, and Future of Brain Research to Navigate Directions, Dangers, and Discourses of Dual-Use
Joseph DeFranco1 and James Giordano2*
1Neuroscience and Biodefense Studies Program, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA
2Departments of Neurology and Biochemistry, Neuroethics Studies Program, and Sub-program in Military Medical Ethics, Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA
*Corresponding Author:James Giordano, Professor, Departments of Neurology and Biochemistry, and Neuroethics Studies Program, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.
Received: December 02, 2019; Published: December 16, 2019

Keywords: Neuroscience; Neurotechnology; Dual-Use Research of Concern; Bioweapons; Neuroweapons; Translation; Neuroethics

Tracking and evaluating prior publications of any scientific or technological field is essential to defining current trends, identifying and analyzing gaps in research methods, results and/or foci, and anticipating future research trajectories. Although neuroscience and neurotechnology (neuroS/T) have evolved from the nascent investigations of the early- to mid-twentieth century, recent developments in tools and techniques have fostered something of a renaissance of inquiry and innovation in the brain sciences. Understanding research trends, limitations, and directions is important to (1) assess contemporary knowledge and guide employment of extant and emerging technologies; (2) facilitate research translation from “bench-to-bedside”; (3) incorporate the most current information to the education and training of scientists; (4) inform relevant stake- and share-holders in professional and public domains; and (5) advise policymakers and research funding entities.

Arguably, benevolent intents are the motivating force propelling the vast majority of neuroS/T research. Yet, defining “the good” can - and often does - entail an examination of the needs, values, and philosophies of the agents and actors involved in any enterprise; and the brain sciences are no exception. The increasingly multi-national interest, investments, and engagement in brain science foster a culturally diverse palette that contributes varying views on what constitutes the relative “right” and “good” conduct and applications of research [1]. The capabilities of neuroS/T to assess and affect cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functions, while primarily directed toward medical aims, also prompt consideration, viability, and use for altering the performance of lifestyle and occupational activities, inclusive of those relevant to military, intelligence, and security operations. Indeed, there has been - and remains - interest, and increasing pursuit of dualand/ or direct-use of the brain sciences to optimize the performance of military personnel and to control and/or degrade neurobehavioral abilities and health of targeted adversaries [2].


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Citation: Joseph DeFranco and James Giordano. “Mapping the Past, Present, and Future of Brain Research to Navigate Directions, Dangers, and Discourses of Dual-Use”. EC Neurology 12.1 (2020): 01-06.

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