Prof. Snead to Present at Neuroscience Symposium

carter snead faculty Notre Dame Law School Professor O. Carter Snead will join professors from Yale, Stanford, and Harvard for the Sept. 25-26 Neuroscience, Law and Government Symposium at the University of Akron School of Law. Participants will address the impact of neuroscience discoveries on the law and in government.

Snead’s talk is derived from his paper “Neuroimaging and the ‘Complexity’ of Capital Punishment,” published in New York University Law Review (Neuroimaging and the ‘Complexity of Capital Punishment, 82 NEW YORK UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 1265 (2007). The article examines the implications and unintended consequences of an emerging effort by cognitive neuroscientists to reform capital sentencing with the use of brain scans.

Snead’s research focuses on the intersection of law and bioethics. His scholarship explores the possibility, mechanisms, and wisdom of the governance of science, medicine, and biotechnology according to ethical principles.

Snead was recently appointed to a four-year term by the Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to be one of the 36 independent experts that compose UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee, the only body in the United Nations System charged with reflecting on bioethics and public policy.

In 2002 Snead accepted the position of general counsel for the President’s Council on Bioethics. In that capacity, he advised the chairman and council members on the legal and public policy dimensions of numerous ethical questions arising from advances in biomedical science and biotechnology. He was the principal drafter of the council’s 2004 report, “Reproduction and Responsibility: The Regulation of New Biotechnologies,” a comprehensive critical assessment of the governance (both public and private) of the activities at the intersection of assisted reproduction, human embryo research, and genetics. Snead continues to serve the council as an expert consultant. From 2004-2005, he served as the chief negotiator and head of the United States delegation to UNESCO for the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (adopted in October 2005).

In 2007, Snead was appointed (along with Dr. Edmund Pellegrino, Chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics) to be the Permanent Observer for the U.S. Government at the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI). In that capacity, he assists the CDBI in its efforts to elaborate international instruments and standards for the ethical governance of science and medicine.

Contact: Prof. Carter Snead, 202-607-0963(cell); 574-631-8259 (office); Orlando.C.Snead.1@nd.edu