University of Pittsburgh
September 1, 2009

Neuroscience Expert to Lecture on Balance Between National Security and National Privacy Sept. 3 at Pitt

Lecture will focus on the ethical dilemmas that arise from the use of neurotechnology in national defense
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Recent advancements in neuroscience have paved the way for innovative tools widely used within the United State's national security system. While enhancements in such technologies as large-scale data banking and lie detection offer the potential for a more secure homeland, they also raise the ever-increasing threat of infringing upon the nation's privacy and civil rights laws. Establishing a firm balance between the ideals of national defense and national privacy will be the primary topic of discussion as the University of Pittsburgh's Center for National Preparedness (CNP) launches its 2009-10 Seminar Series with a lecture titled "Neurotechnology and Homeland Security: On the Apparent Paradox of Protection and Privacy," at 3 p.m. Sept. 3, 528 Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

The lecture's speaker will be James Giordano, a Fellow of the Centre for Philosophical Psychology, Blackfriars Hall, at the University of Oxford and director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Arlington, Va. Giordano will analyze the ethical dilemmas that arise from the use of neurotechnology in national defense and how America can resolve issues associated with protecting its homeland and its civil liberties.

Giordano has been active in the fields of neuroscience and ethics for more than 25 years. In addition to his positions at Oxford and the Potomac Institute, he serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Neurophilosophy and Neuroethics at Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms' Universität in Bonn, Germany, and the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Visiting Professor of Science, Technology and Ethics at the University of New Mexico. He is the editor-in-chief of the journal "Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine" as well as the book series "Advances in Neurotechnology: Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues" (CRC Press); he holds editorial positions with other scholarly neuroscience publications.

The author of more than 120 peer-reviewed publications, Giordano has most recently written "Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives of Neuroethics" (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and "Pain: Mind, Meaning and Medicine" (PPM-Publishers' Press, 2009). In recognition of his work, Giordano has been elected to the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and is the recipient of the Hallvard Award for Scientific Excellence and Leadership from the Ola Grimsby Institute of North America as well as the William Herschel Medal for Achievement in Biomedicine and Education from the American Academy of Thermology.

Pitt's CNP is a broad, multidisciplinary collaborative enterprise that engages the University's scientists, engineers, policy experts, and clinical faculty. Members of the center possess expertise in biomedical research, public health, medicine, national security policy, engineering, and information technology. The center communicates the innovative research of the University's faculty to the broader public through educational and training programs, including this seminar series.

A reception will follow the talk. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is recommended. For more information or to register, visit or call 412-624-9416.