Event Announcements

Event Announcement: 2013 Wellcome Lectures in Neuroethics

Wednesday 27th November, 5 – 7pm

Lecture Theatre
Oxford Martin School
Old Indian Institute
34 Broad St (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets)
Oxford OX1 3BD

ALL WELCOME

The Oxford Centre for Neuroethics & International Neuroethics Society are pleased to present a set of two Wellcome Lectures in Neuroethics for 2013:

Brain mechanisms of voluntary action: the implications for responsibility
Prof. Patrick Haggard
University College London

The irresponsible self: Self bias changes the way we see the world
Prof. Glyn Humphreys
Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University

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Announcement: Making Better Babies, Pro and Con: A Debate

October 2, 6.00 – 7.30 p.m.
BMW Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne
ALL WELCOME

Public debate between Julian Savulescu (Oxford University) and Rob Sparrow (Monash University).

Further information

Wellcome Lecture in Neuroethics: Wayne Hall on the brain disease model of addiction

Wellcome Lecture in Neuroethics: The brain disease model of addiction: Assessing its validity, utility and implications for public policy towards the treatment and prevention of addiction
Wayne Hall, NHMRC Australia Fellow, University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research

Thursday 14 June, 5.30 – 7.00 p.m., Seminar Room 1, Oxford Martin School, 34 Broad St.
ALL WELCOME- NO NEED TO BOOK

Genetic and neuroscience research on addiction has been interpreted by leading figures in the USA as demonstrating that addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease that reflects enduring changes in brain function that are produced by sustained heavy drug use and explain the inability of addicted persons to refrain from using drugs, despite their professed intentions to do so. The brain disease model contrasts starkly with the commonsense view that drug use is a free choice for which individual drug users are responsible. This paper: assesses the evidence and arguments offered in favour of the brain disease model of addiction; assesses the arguments advanced by critics of the model; considers the social and ethical implications of these views in dealing with addicted persons and in formulating public health policies that we should adopt to prevent the harmful use of and addiction to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs.

Biographical Sketches

Wayne Hall is an NHMRC Australia Fellow in addiction neuroethics and Deputy Director (Policy) at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research. He was formerly: Professor of Public Health Policy in the School of Population Health (2005-2010), Director of the Office of Public Policy and Ethics at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (2001-2005) both at the University of Queensland; and Director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW (1994-2001).  He has advised the World Health Organization on: the health effects of cannabis use; the effectiveness of drug substitution treatment; the scientific quality of the Swiss heroin trials; the contribution of illicit drug use to the global burden of disease; and the ethical implications of genetic and neuroscience research on addiction. He was awarded an NHMRC Australia Fellowship in 2009 to research the public health, social policy and ethical implications of genetic and neuroscience research on drug use and addiction.

Reminder: Everyday philosophy

Quick reminder of a forthcoming talk at the Oxford Playhouse on the 11th February, given by Philosophy Bites author Nigel Warburton:

What is philosophy? Who needs it? Writer and podcaster Nigel Warburton, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University, discusses the relevance of philosophy to life today. From questions about the limits of free speech to the nature of happiness, from what art is to the impact of new technology, philosophy offers insights into questions that matter. Warburton will explore how the thoughts of some of the great philosophers of the past shed light on our present day predicament.

Advance notice: Everyday philosophy

Advance notice of a forthcoming talk at the Oxford Playhouse on the 11th February, given by Philosophy Bites author Nigel Warburton:

What is philosophy? Who needs it? Writer and podcaster Nigel Warburton, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University, discusses the relevance of philosophy to life today. From questions about the limits of free speech to the nature of happiness, from what art is to the impact of new technology, philosophy offers insights into questions that matter. Warburton will explore how the thoughts of some of the great philosophers of the past shed light on our present day predicament.

 

Oxford Debates — Performance-Enhancing Drugs Should be Allowed in Sport — Moderator’s Opening Statement

Oxford Online Debates

by Roger Crisp

Taking drugs to improve one’s sporting performance seems, on the face of it, a paradigmatic example of a wrong action. It combines two activities usually considered shameful: the use of banned substances, and cheating.

But on closer inspection the issue is more complicated. The use of some drugs, such as nicotine or caffeine (both of which might enhance performance in some cases), carries little or no stigma, and the charge of cheating would be inappropriate were the drugs in question explicitly permitted.

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Drugs in Sport debate and special edition

Over the next month Oxford Online Debates will be tackling the motion "Performance enhancing drugs should be allowed in sport". We will try to collect together relevant materials and blog posts below
in this special edition.

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The hammer or the nail – are addicts morally responsible?

In a case that is probably echoed daily across this country and many others, an amphetamine addict Michael Hunter was jailed yesterday for attacking a friend with a hammer. The judge noted that

"amphetamine had clearly affected
Hunter’s mental health, but he highlighted the fact that he had been
responsible for two unprovoked attacks using weapons."

The judge alluded to the question of responsibility and the influence of addiction. Are addicts morally responsible? Should drug addiction excuse or mitigate blame for actions taken under their influence?

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Symposium Announcement: Human Enhancement: What should be permitted?

The Brocher Foundation, and the Universities of Oxford and Geneva are pleased to announce the Symposium:

Human Enhancement: What should be permitted?
20-21 October 2009, Brocher Centre, Geneva, Switzerland

Biomedical science is increasingly yielding technologies that can be used to enhance the capacities of healthy people, as well as to treat disease. This two-day workshop will aim to advance the debate on the ethics of human enhancement by considering
(1) What enhancements are likely to become possible?
(2) What enhancements will be ethically permissible?
(3) What enhancements should be legally permitted?
(4) What criteria should be used to answer 2 and 3?

THE PROGRAMME WILL INCLUDE SESSIONS ON:

Enhancement in sport
Life extension
Neuro-enhancement
Enhancement in general

AND PRESENTATIONS BY, AMONG OTHERS:

Eric Juengst (Case Western)
Paul Root Wolpe (Emory)
Hank Greely (Stanford)
John Harris (Manchester)
Tom Murray (The Hastings Center)
Julian Savulescu (Oxford)
Alexandre Mauron (Geneva)

ORGANISERS

Julian Savulescu, Alexandre Mauron, Bengt Kayser, Verner Moller, Tom Douglas

TO ATTEND THE EVENT,

you are kindly requested to fill in the registration form and to send it back to the Brocher Foundation by mail, e-mail or fax before 5 October 2009. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Fondation Brocher
471 rte d’Hermance, 1248 Hermance, Switzerland
E-mail: scientificprog@brocher.ch
Fax: 0041 22 751 93 91

Oxford Debates – The NHS should not treat self-inflicted illness (Moderator’s Introduction)

Moderator: Dr Paula Boddington

Should the NHS treat self-inflicted illness? This question raises a plethora of different issues, about science, society, social policy, as well as philosophical questions about human nature and individual freedom.

The best use of health care resources will always be debated. How much money should be spent on health? How efficiently can it be spent? How should it be divided within the healthcare system? These can never simply be questions of economics but also raise vitally important questions about values. This debate about what treatments the NHS should offer is taking place in an economic climate where there is a call to curtail public spending. Would refusing to treat self-inflicted illnesses be a fair place to start to save money?

But money is only one aspect of this debate.

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Authors

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