PHILADELPHIA — The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Neuroscience & Society, a cross-disciplinary center focused on understanding and communicating the impact of neuroscience on society, has named its initial board of advisors.

The board includes a Nobel laureate, the editor-in-chief of an international science journal, CNN’s chief medical correspondent and the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“We are delighted to announce the formation of the Center for Neuroscience & Society Advisory Board,” said Martha Farah, director of the Center and a cognitive neuroscientist who holds the Walter H. Annenberg Professorship in Natural Sciences at Penn.   “This distinguished group of advisors will help guide us toward the most effective use of our faculty and resources, as we analyze the role of neuroscience in society and communicate our findings to policy makers and the public.”

The Center confronts the social, legal and ethical implications of increasingly rapid advances in neuroscience and draws faculty from Penn’s schools of Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Law and Engineering and Applied Science.
Advisors for the Center for Neuroscience & Society are:

• Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief of Nature and a fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the Royal Astronomical Society.  Campbell has worked on issues relating to science and its impacts on society with the Office of Science and Innovation in the United Kingdom, the European Commission and the National Institutes of Health and is a trustee of the charity Cancer Research UK.

• Howard Gardner, the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  The recipient of 22 honorary degrees, Gardner was selected by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines as one of the 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world.  He is the author of numerous books on the mind, brain and education, including “Frames of Mind: Theory of Multiple Intelligences.”

• Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for the health and medical unit at CNN.  A practicing neurosurgeon and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Emory University School of Medicine, Gupta plays an integral role in the network’s medical coverage, which includes lead reporting on breaking medical news, regular health and medical updates for “American Morning” and anchoring the half-hour weekend medical-affairs program “House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.”

• James J. Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at The University of Chicago and the winner, with Daniel McFadden, of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.  Heckman’s research deals with the evaluation of social programs, econometric models of discrete choice and longitudinal data, the economics of the labor market and alternative models of the distribution of income.  He has published more than 200 articles and books, his most recent being “Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policy?” and “Evaluating Human Capital Policy.”  His recent work has focused on cognitive and noncognitive aspects of human capital.

• Jonah Leher, a contributing editor at Wired and Scientific American Mind magazines and National Public Radio’s “Radio Lab.”  A Rhodes Scholar, Lehrer is the author of “How We Decide” and “Proust Was a Neuroscientist,” and his articles have appeared in the New Yorker, Nature, Seed, the Washington Post and the Boston Globe.

• Alan Leshner, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the journal Science.   Before leading AAAS, Leshner was director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and served as deputy director and acting director of the National Institute of Mental Health.  He is the author of a major textbook on the relationship between hormones and behavior and has published more than 150 papers for both the scientific and lay communities on the biology of behavior, science and technology policy, science education and public engagement with science.  In 2004, Leshner was appointed to the National Science Board.  He is also a member of the Advisory Committee to the director of the NIH.

• Steven E. Hyman, provost of Harvard University and professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School.  From 1996 to 2001, he served as director of the National Institute of Mental Health and has been director of psychiatry research at Massachusetts General Hospital.  He was also the first faculty director of Harvard’s Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative.  Hyman is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and is the first president of the Neuroethics Society.

Additional information on the Center for Neuroscience & Society at the University of Pennsylvania is available at and