Bursting the Neuro-Utopian BubbleBy BENJAMIN Y. FONG
Pyschosocial problems cannot simply be solved in the neuroscientist’s lab.
The project has been compared by the administration to the Human Genome Project, which focused on a problem — the sequencing of the human genome — as daunting as the recording and mapping of brain circuits in action. The success of the Human Genome Project was both scientific and financial: the $3.8 billion invested in it by the federal government has reportedly returned $796 billion, a fact that advocates of the Brain Initiative have been quick to cite as justification for their own undertaking.
Critics of the Human Genome Project have voiced many concerns about genomic sequencing, most of which can also be leveled at the Brain Initiative: What happens when health insurance companies get hold of this information? Could it lead to invasions of our privacy? And, perhaps most fundamentally, aren’t these scientists once again trying to play God? ......."