Skip to main content

Judicial Seminars on Emerging Issues in Neuroscience

AAAS and its collaborators have convened a series of seminars to inform judges of the issues they may encounter in light of new developments in neuroscience. Selected federal, state and administrative law judges have heard leading neuroscientists reflect on such topics as the neuroscience of violence and the brain, memory and lie detection, the adolescent brain, and states of consciousness.

This project to educate judges on advances in neuroscience has been supported by the Dana Foundation since 2006; thirty seminars have been convened. Partnering organizations include the Federal Judicial Center, the National Center for State Courts, and the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association.

In July of 2009, AAAS received the 2009 Judicial Education Award from the ABA Judicial Division’s National Conference of Specialized Court Judges for the judicial seminar series on emerging neuroscience issues.

The 2022 iteration of this project expanded delivery of educational opportunities on the latest neuroscience beyond judges to new audiences that interact with and influence judges, including attorneys and judicial education professionals, thus meeting the goals for the project as set forth in the grant proposal. For all of these diverse audiences – including both federal and state judges – the seminars and webinars organized by AAAS aimed to enhance the understanding of participants as regards the role that neuroscience is playing, and may play, in making legal determinations in the courts, from the admissibility of evidence to decisions about criminal culpability.  

Given the on-going impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, AAAS leveraged both virtual and in-person ways of delivering above-mentioned opportunities.

Past In-Person Seminars

  • May 2023, AAAS Headquarters, Washington, DC
  • November 2022, The National Judicial College, University of Nevada, Reno
  • September 2019University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus
  • June 2019, University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, FL
  • October 2018: University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego, CA
  • May-June 2018: University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
  • November 2017: University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • May 2017: Duke University School of Law, Durham, NC
  • October 2016: University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA
  • May 2016: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • October 2015: AAAS Headquarters, Washington, DC
  • June 2015: University of California, Irvine
  • October 2014: College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas, Austin, TX
  • June 2014: University of Wisconsin-Madison Neuroscience and Public Policy Program and Law School, Madison, WI
  • October 2013: Oregon Health & Science University Brain Institute, Portland, OR
  • April 2013: Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  • October 2012: University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN
  • June 2012: Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, LA
  • October-November 2011: James A. Byrne Federal Courthouse, Philadelphia, PA
  • March 2011: Arizona State University Law School, Scottsdale, AZ
  • November 2010: San Diego, CA
  • September 2010: Harvard University Law School, Cambridge, MA
  • June 2010: Washington University, St. Louis, MO
  • October 2009: Stetson University Law School, Gulfport, FL
  • July 2009: American Bar Association, Chicago, IL
  • May 2009: National Judicial College, Reno, NV
  • November 2008: Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC
  • October 2008: Rice University, Houston, TX
  • August 2008 : American Bar Association, New York, NY
  • May 2008: American Bar Association, Chicago, IL
  • November 2007: National Judicial College, Reno, NV
  • December 2006: Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  • June 2006: The DANA Center, Washington, DC