Prof. Snead Explains Impact of Neuroscience on Courts

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carter snead faculty Prof. Carter Snead recently spoke to an assembly of federal and state judges about the current and future impact of neuroscience and neuroimaging on civil and criminal court cases. He presented alongside prominent neuroscientists who spoke about how their work might have implications for the law. Topics at the Judicial Seminar on Emerging Issues in Neuroscience included lie detection neurotechnologies, the neurobiology of criminal violence, and the neuroimaging of pain. The seminar took place May 6-7 in Chicago, and was jointly sponsored by the American Bar Association, the American Association for the advancement of Science, the Federal Judiciary Center, the National Center for State Courts, and the Dana Foundation.

Snead’s scholarship explores the possibility, mechanisms, and wisdom of the governance of science, medicine, and biotechnology according to ethical principles.

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.

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.

Most recently, the director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) appointed Snead to a four-year term as one of 36 independent experts on UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee (IBC). The committee is the only forum in the United Nations system devoted to reflection on bioethics and public policy.

Contact: Prof. Carter Snead, 202-607-0963(cell); 574-631-8259 (office);

For more information on Professor Snead, visit his faculty profile page.