International Neuroethics Society’s Letter from the President, Dr. Judy Illes

28 January 2016

Dear INS Members, Partners, and Friends,

I am honored to become the third President of the International Neuroethics Society and to lead our interdisciplinary, global organization into a second and exciting decade of scholarship, action, and impact.

The flood of findings from brain research generates an ever-increasing range of neuroethical challenges that demand our attention, both as individual scientists and scholars, and as a professional society. Revolutions in our understandings of wellness and mental health, living to learn and learning to die, and the nature of cognition have fundamental consequences for our health care systems, classrooms, and courtrooms. There could not be a more important time for neuroethicists to engage with scientists, lawyers, teachers, policy-makers, and the public.

Allow me to extend many thanks to Dr. Steve Hyman, our founding President inaugurated at the Asilomar meeting in May 2006, and Dr. Barbara Sahakian who served from February 2014–January 2016. Through their guidance and commitment, the enormous efforts of Board members, and the hard work of Executive Director Karen Graham and her staff over the past 10 years, we have established the foundation needed to gain visibility and our professional foothold.

Looking ahead, I would like to share with you some goals for my term as President:

  • A strategic plan with priorities to guide us for the coming years.
    Engagement of the membership in decisions about leadership and action by updating the Society’s governance structure.
  • New task forces responsive to emerging issues.
  • An experts bureau that will enable us to be the go-to professional body for expert opinion and comment on neuroethics.
  • A new approach to communicating neuroethics to wide audiences.
  • New opportunities for our early career scholars.
  • Formal interactions with international and regional neuroethics networks and chapters.
  • An increase in membership numbers.
  • A financial plan that grounds our sustainability and ability to grow.
  • A new and refreshed logo reflecting our vision for the next 5-10 years. Stay tuned for the launch of the membership competition for this!
  • A milestone 10th Anniversary 2016 Annual Meeting marking the establishment of the Society, and a 2017 Annual Meeting marking 15 years since the formalization of Neuroethics in San Francisco in 2002.

To achieve these goals, the Board, new Executive Committee, and I need you to roll up your sleeves and join us in working hard to move the Society ahead in the next few years. We need you, and we need new new-comers. We need an active and engaged international membership with ideas, connections, and unfettered energy to bring to the table.

Please start now. Write me with your interests, know-how, and availability. Please also write me with any confidential suggestions. All will help to propel us forward. My Society email is:


Judy Illes, PhD, FRSC, CAHS
President, International Neuroethics Society

Source: A Letter from the INS President, February 1, 2016, 1:18:58 PM PST