Opinion on ‘Responsible Dual Use’: Political, Security, Intelligence and Military Research of Concern in Neuroscience and Neurotechnology

Christine Aicardi, Lise Bitsch, Nicklas Bang Bådum,, Saheli Datta Burton, Kathinka Evers, Michele Farisco, B. Tyr Fothergill, James Giordano, Emma Harris, Marie Louise Jørgensen,, Lars Klüver,, Tara Mahfoud, Stephen Rainey, Karen Riisgaard, Nikolas Rose, Arleen Salles, Bernd Carsten Stahl, Inga Ulnicane, Lars Klüver (Editor), Tara Mahfoud (Editor)Nikolas Rose (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportReport

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Current and newly emerging insights and technologies arising from research in brain sciences increase capabilities to access, assess and affect thought, emotion and behaviour. While much of this research and development is directed towards clinical use, it also has applications in other settings, notably in the political, security,1 intelligence and military (PSIM) domains. This is often referred to in terms of ‘Dual Use’.2 Many of these potential uses raise important social and ethical questions which demand the attention of all those involved in the research, administration, management and regulation of neuroscience research and related technological developments, including those in information and communication technologies and robotics. For this reason, the Ethics and Society division of the Human Brain Project undertook research, organized a series of consultations, webinars, workshops and surveys with citizens, experts, scientists and engineers and other stakeholders, and developed a number of scoping reports to identify current and potential applications of brain research and brain inspired technologies in the above-mentioned domains and to analyse their social and ethical implications. In these activities, we explored the strengths and weaknesses of existing definitions of dual use, undertook conceptual clarification of the issues involved, described the scope of existing regulation in the EU and elsewhere and identified key ambiguities in those regulations and guidelines, including the undertakings that researchers are required to make before receiving EC funding. These reports form the basis of this Opinion and its recommendations to the Human Brain Project, to the wider neuroscience and ICT community, to authorities and industry concerned with political, security, intelligence and military research and development in neuroscience, neurotechnology and brain ICT, and to EU member states and the European Union.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Human Brain Project
  • Ethics and Society
  • dual use
  • Responsible Research and Innovation


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