Neuroscience, Ethics, and Religion: Moving Beyond Coexistence

ABS 2018

Neuroscience is a rapidly evolving field that aims to root human experience in the workings of the human brain. An ongoing discourse between neuroscience and various religious communities has often been fraught by tension that arises from a rigid separation of the material and spiritual dimensions of life, raising valuable questions about the nature of the mind, mental health, social relationships that bind humanity together, and the ethical systems that guide our use of technologies that alter brain function. In this conversational discussion, three professors from Emory University will share their reflections on this discourse and consider a path forward that integrates insights from neuroscience, ethics, and religion.

  • Paul Root Wolpe

    Dr. Paul Root Wolpe is a Professor in the Department of Medicine and Director for the Center for Ethics at Emory University. His work focuses on the social, religious, ethical, and ideological impact of medicine and technology on the human condition. He is a past president for the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, and has spent 15 years as Senior Bioethicist for NASA.

  • Karen Rommelfanger

    Dr. Karen Rommelfanger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at Emory University. Her work focuses on Neuroethics, a rapidly evolving field that explores how neuroscience and its emerging technologies challenge our value systems, notions of self, free will, the mind, and human nature. She is the Program Director of Emory’s Neuroethics Program and the co-Chair of the Global Neuroethics Summit.

  • Gillian Hue

    Dr. Gillian Hue holds a PhD in Neuroscience from Emory University and is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Georgia Gwinnett College. Her postdoctoral research focused on science education and ethics. She has traveled to Tibet with the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative to teach Neuroscience coursework to Buddhist monks in exile, and is the managing editor of the American Journal for Bioethics Neuroscience.

  • Tara Raam

    Tara Raam is a post-doctoral fellow in Neurobiology at UCLA. Her research uses simultaneous recordings of brain activity in groups of mice in combination with machine learning approaches to generate models of individual and collective behavior. She is interested in discourses on consciousness, evolution, human nature, and harmony of science and religion.