The Studies Center on Science, Communication and Society from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (SCS-UPF) has started a working group in the framework of the NERRI project to focus on the neuro-enhancement (NE) applied to minors. The initiative was presented during the Consortium Meeting of the project in Rome on June 22nd and 23rd, where all members had the chance to speak their minds on the idea and contribute with their experience. From now on and until the end of August, NERRI partners will share the data related to the topic of “NE in Minors” collected during their local events. Two of these members have already joined the initiative: Experimentarium (Denmark) and IBMC (Portugal). However, the group is still open for any other partner to join!
The initiative was born when the first MML activities showed that there was the need to further study NE specifically applied to minors. This group deserves a special consideration because of two main reasons: firstly, because the plasticity of their brain is the highest it will get in life (and thus, the impact of NE can be the greatest); and secondly, because they depend on adults and have a limited freedom of choice. Moreover, one of the project reports (D3.3) showed that many people thought that minors should be protected from the harmful effects of NE through an institutional regulation, and it is also important to bear in mind the social pressure experienced by some minors in our increasingly competitive society.
The working group “NE in Minors” wants to write a final report to reflect on the experience, which could be presented and discussed in the final Consortium Meeting of NERRI –or even sent to international conferences related to the topic (for example, conferences on ethics, neurology, education).
[This article is based on the NERRI Newsletter contribution on July 2015 from SCS-UPF]