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April 4, 2012

This message brings news about: 1) New Neurolaw Publications; 2) Selected Neurolaw News Clippings;
3) Upcoming Conferences; 4) 2011 Conferences of Note; and 5) Other Developments.

(1)   New Neurolaw Publications

a.  Owen D. Jones & Francis X. Shen, Law and Neuroscience in the United States,  in INTERNATIONAL NEUROLAW (Tade Spranger ed., Springer, 2011)

b.  Stephen Morse, Protecting Liberty and Autonomy: Desert/Disease Jurisprudence , 48 San Diego L. Rev. 1077 (2011).

c.  Harrison A. Korn, Micha A. Johnson & Marvin M. Chun, Neurolaw: Differential Brain Activity for Black and White Faces Predicts Damage Awards in Hypothetical Employment Discrimination Cases , 6 Social Neuroscience 1 (2011).

d.  Nita A. Farahany, A Neurological Foundation for Freedom , 2011 Stan. Tech. L. Rev. 11 (2011).

e.  Tade Spranger ed., INTERNATIONAL NEUROLAW (Springer, 2011).

f.  Francis X. Shen, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Joshua D. Greene & Rene Marois, Sorting Guilty Minds , 86 NYU L. Rev. 1306 (2011).

(2)   Selected Neurolaw News Clippings

a.  Laurence Steinberg, "Don't put juveniles in jail for life," CNN Opinion, March 19, 2012.

b.  "Is Free Will An Illusion?" Essays by Paul Bloom, Hilary Bok, Jerry A. Coyne, Michael S. Gazzaniga, Owen D. Jones, and Alfred R. Mele, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, March 20, 2012.

(3)   Upcoming Conferences

a.  Summer 2012 Moral Evolution Workshop in Erice, Italy

The Etore Majorana Foundation and the Centre for Scientific Culture, International School of Ethology, is sponsoring a moral evolution workshop in Summer 2012 entitled "The Evolution of Morality: the Biology and Philosophy of Human Conscience".  Evolutionary biologists, ethologists, neuroscientists, anthropologists, psychologists, developmental psychologists, philosophers and theologians will discuss the central question of what morality and conscience are. The Speakers will be: Ara Norenzayan, Christopher Boehm, Darcia Narvaez, Frans de Waal, Jan Verplaetse, Jeffrey Schloss, Liane Young, Melanie Killen, Oren Harman, Owen Flanagan, Patricia Churchland, Phillip Kitcher, Pier Francesco Ferrari, Richard Joyce, Simon Blackburn, Telmo Pievani. The Location is Erice in Sicily, Italy.  The dates are June 17th through June 22nd.  For registration, click on this link: < >.  For further information, contact: Frans B. M. de Waal, Ph.D.; C.H. Candler Professor & Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes Primate Center; Psychology Department (PAIS Building); Suite 270, 36 Eagle Row; Emory University; Atlanta, GA 30322, USA; Tel. 1-404-727-7898; < >.

b.  Summer 2012 Bioethics Course in Rome, Italy

The 2012 Summer Course in Bioethics organized by the School of Bioethics and the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical university will be held on July 2nd through July 13th. The topic of the course will be: "Neurobioethics: The Human Person at the Center of Neuroscience, Ethics, Law and Society".  To register, please visit the website < >.  For more information, contact: Prof. Alberto García JD, UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, Via degli Aldobrandeschi 190, 00163 Roma. Italia; Tel.: +39 06 66527698; Fax: +39 06 66527814; E-mail: .

(4)   2011 Conferences of Note

2011 saw a large uptick in the number of annual conferences and symposia addressing neurolaw issues.  Here is a sampling:

a.  Kavli Symposium

At the November 2011 Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., the Kavli Foundation sponsored a Fred Kavli Symposium entitled "Law and Neuroscience: The Brain on Trial" featuring Alan Leshner, Adrian Raine, Abigail Baird, Craig Stark, and Steven Hyman, a member of the Governing Board of the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project.  In addition, the Kavli Foundation sponsored a teleconference featuring Alan Leshner, Jay Giedd, and Martha Farah of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience.  A transcript for the teleconference as well as a video of the Symposium may be found at: < >.

b.  Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference

The 2011 judicial conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was held in Carlsbad, California, on August 15-18, and included a panel presentation entitled "The Promises and Perils of Neuroscience Evidence in the Courtroom".  The panel participants were Nita Farahany, Hank Greely, Owen Jones, and Stephen Morse, all of whom have been members of the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project or are members of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience or both.  Among those in attendance at the panel presentation were U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.  The entire program may be viewed at: < >.

c.  Second Circuit Judicial Conference

The 2011 judicial conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit featured the topic "The Legal Brain-scape: Neuroscience & the Law" in June 2011.  Among the speakers at the conference were U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and several members of the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project, including Michael Gazzaniga, Hank Greely, Stephen Morse, Kent Kiehl, Nita Farahany, and Judge Jed Rakoff.  The entire program may be viewed at:

d.  Dana Alliance Conference

The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives sponsored a "Law & The Brain" conference in New York (March 15-16, 2011), which included presentations by MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project members Michael Gazzaniga, Jed Rakoff, Martha Farah, Stephen Morse, Frederick Schauer, Owen Jones, Liz Phelps, and Oliver Goodenough. For the full program, see: < >.

e.  Sackler Forum

The 2011 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Forum, co-sponsored by the National Academies and the U.K. Royal Society, was held March 2-3 in Irvine, California, on the topic Neuroscience and Law, and featured presentations by several members of the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project, including Judge William Fletcher, Hank Greely, Judge Morris Hoffman, Owen Jones, Kent Kiehl, Read Montague, Stephen Morse, Judge Jed Rakoff, Fred Schauer, Anthony Wagner, and Susan Wolf. The full agenda and a videolink may be found at: < >.

(5)   Other Developments

a.  Prosecutors

Are you a prosecutor?  We are actively trying to locate – for a possible speaking opportunity – prosecutors who have encountered neuroscience in litigation contexts.  Please contact Sarah Grove at sarah.e.grove@Vanderbilt.Edu .

b.  Justice Breyer's Dissent

Justice Breyer has cited neuroscience research in a videogame dissent: in a June 2011 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated (7-2) a California law that banned the sale of violent videogames to children.  The majority, in an opinion by Justice Scalia, held in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Assoc., that videogames were subject to First Amendment "speech" protection.  In dissent, Justice Breyer noted that "[c]utting-edge neuroscience has shown that 'virtual violence in video game playing results in those neural patterns that are considered characteristic for aggressive cognition and behavior.'" He argued that the Court should defer, for this reason among others, to the elected legislature's conclusion that the videogames in question were likely to harm children.

c.  Joint J.D./Ph.D. in Law and Neuroscience Launched by Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt Law School (< >) and the Vanderbilt Brain Institute (< >) joined forces in 2010 to launch what is believed to be the nation's first coordinated joint degree program (J.D./Ph.D.) in law and neuroscience  < > .  In 2010, Bowdoin College alumnus Matthew Ginther became the first student to take on the challenging curriculum that alternates classes at Vanderbilt Law School and the university's graduate program in neuroscience < > .

Neurolaw News is produced by The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience, headquartered at Vanderbilt University Law School, 131 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203.  For more information, please see: < / >.  For phone inquiries, please call 615-343-9797.

To UNSUBSCRIBE or to SUBSCRIBE: send an email to Administrative Assistant Sarah Grove at < > with either "Unsubscribe" or "Subscribe" in the subject line.


Owen D. Jones
New York Alumni Chancellor's Chair in Law
Professor of Biological Sciences
Director, MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience

Vanderbilt University
131  21st Avenue, South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181

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