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Did My Brain Make Me Do It? Neuroscience and Morality

1200 New York Ave, Washington, DC

What is the basis of moral judgment? Does a person with a cognitive dysfunction have the same moral culpability as a person whose brain is not impaired? Questions like these have been pondered and debated throughout the course of human history by philosophers, theologians, scientists, and others.

The science that underlies how we make moral decisions may not answer all our questions about moral culpability, but it has potentially wide-ranging societal consequences and applications. 

At this special event, Dr. Anthony-Samuel La Mantia, director of the George Washington Institute of Neuroscience, will present highlights from his research on the role of forebrain development and gene regulation in behavioral and psychiatric diseases including schizophrenia and autism. Dr. Paul Root Wolpe, director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University, will discuss the implications of emerging neuroscience and neurodevelopment on morality, culpability, and free will. 

Opening Remarks 

Jennifer Wiseman: Director of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion 


Anthony-Samuel La MantiaProfessor, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, George Washington School of Medicine & Health Sciences; Director, George Washington Institute for Neuroscience 

Paul Root Wolpe: Professor of Bioethics, Director of the Center for Ethics, and Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics, Emory University; Senior Bioethicist, NASA  

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