The European project NERRI (Neuroenhancement Responsible Research and Innovation), in which the Science Communication Observatory from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (OCC-UPF) takes part, was mentioned in the last report of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Presidential Bioethics Commission) of the United States of America. This is an advisory panel constituted by some of the U.S.´ leaders in medicine, science, ethics, religion, law, and engineering. The Presidential Bioethics Commission advises the President Barack Obama on bioethical issues arising from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology.
In July 2013, President Obama charged the Presidential Bioethics Commission to analyse and give recommendations about ethical and societal issues associated with advances in the field of neuroscience. As a result of their work on this issue, and as part of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative, the Presidential Bioethics Commission published in may 2014 the report “Gray Matters”. This report emphasizes the importance of integrating ethics into neuroscience research from the earliest planning phases.
In this sense, this US report is very close to the Responsible Research and Innovation approach that defends the European Commission, that also highlights the importance of taking action from the earliest phases of an emerging technology. “Gray Matters” also provides practical, conceptual, and methodological tools that can be applied directly to neuroscience research by funders, scientists, and other stakeholders.
In particular, NERRI was selected by the European Brain Council, as an example of the main European projects within the field of ethics and neurosciences.