The Center for Neuroscience & Society: We are a group of faculty and students from departments spanning the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Business (Wharton), Communication (Annenberg), Engineering and Applied Science, Medicine (Perelman SOM) and Law at the University of Pennsylvania. Our group formed in 2004 as the Penn Neuroethics Program, with the goal of understanding the ethical, legal and social implications of neuroscience, and in 2009 became the Center for Neuroscience & Society. This makes us the longest running center in the world focused at the interface between neuroscience and society.
To learn more about our research and writing, please see our faculty profiles and our open access repository, where many of our published papers are available for download. You can see talks and didactic lectures by our faculty, as well as by many of our distinguished visitors, in our video library. Throughout this website, as well as on Facebook, you will find information about Center talks and other activities. We have been joined at Penn by visiting scholars who have brought their ideas and projects to the Center for periods of weeks to months.
Our educational programs range from K-12 through continuing professional education. Within Penn’s formal academic curriculum, we offer both undergraduate and graduate training. At the undergraduate level we offer a lecture course on Neuroscience and Society each year, and neuroethics is often offered at the undergraduate or graduate level through Psychology or Medical Ethics and Health Policy. Courses on neurolaw are variously offered through Criminology, Psychology and Law. The Graduate Certificate in Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience provides students from a wide range of professional and academic disciplines with training in neuroscience to facilitate their interdisciplinary work.
Our subject matter calls for extensive collaboration. Many spheres of human life, from business to law, education to warfare, will be transformed by neuroscience in the coming decades. The “two cultures,” the “four estates,” and myriad academic disciplines and professions from around the world must work together to foster the most beneficial and humane uses of neuroscience. The Penn Center for Neuroscience & Society is therefore a highly collaborative group, with extensive interaction and cooperation within the university and with organizations outside of Penn. You can read more about our Center’s activities in our most recent Report.
Mission Statement: The mission of the Center for Neuroscience & Society is to increase understanding of the impact of neuroscience on society through research and teaching, and to encourage the responsible use of neuroscience for the benefit of humanity.