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The New Brain Sciences
Perils and Prospects


Steven Rose, Mary Midgley, Merlin W. Donald, Hilary Rose, Regine Kollek, Peter Lipton, Alexander McCall Smith, Stephen Sedley, Lorraine Radford, Patrick Bateson, Yadin Dudai, Angus Clarke, Helen Hodges, Iris Reuter, Helen Pilcher, Guido de Wert, John Cornwell, David Healy, Paul Cooper, Dai Rees, Barbro Westerholm
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  • Date Published: October 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521830096

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About the Authors
  • The last 20 years have seen an explosion of research and development in the neurosciences. Indeed, some have called this first decade of the 21st century 'the decade of the mind'. An all-encompassing term, the neurosciences cover such fields as biology, psychology, neurology, psychiatry and philosophy and include anatomy, physiology, molecular biology, genetics and behaviour. It is now a major industry with billions of dollars of funding invested from both public and private sectors. Huge progress has been made in our understanding of the brain and its functions. However, with progress comes controversy, responsibility and dilemma. The New Brain Sciences: Perils and Prospects examines the implications of recent discoveries in terms of our sense of individual responsibility and personhood. With contributing chapters from respected and influential names in neuroscience, law, psychology, philosophy and sociology, The New Brain Sciences should kick-start a discussion of where neuroscience is headed.

    • Thought-provoking debate on the state of neuroscience research, with perspectives on social science and political implications
    • Internationally recognised general editors
    • Easy-to-read, popular style
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'One valuable message of The New Brain Sciences is that in trying to understand the neurosciences, it is unwise to ignore the social forces propelling them.' Financial Times Magazine

    '… anyone interested in psychology, biology or neuroscience should take the time to read it, as it's one of the best overviews around.' Focus

    '… beautifully presented and very well edited. Every chapter is clear and accessible to a general readership … The coverage of topics is broad with no obvious omissions … Every reader will come away from reading this book with questions of their own. A strength of this title is the insistence, shared by all the contributors, that the social sciences and the neurosciences need to learn from each other, and that each ethical question needs to be considered in its social context. It is a simply wonderful book, and deserves to be the paradigm for work in neuroethics over the next decade.' The Lancet

    '… this book is rather reassuring. Overall, this volume does much to combat various kinds of bad reductionist thinking.' Nature

    'The New Brain Sciences is a stimulating book for anyone interested in how neuroscience may change our view of ourselves and affect our free will. It is controversial but thoughtful and packed with interesting detail.' Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2004
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521830096
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of contributors
    Part I. Introduction: the new brain sciences Steven Rose
    Part II. Freedom to Change:
    1. Do we ever really act? Mary Midgley
    2. The definition of human nature Merlin W. Donald
    3. Consciousness and the limits of neurobiology Hilary Rose
    4. Mind metaphors, neurosciences and ethics Regine Kollek
    5. Genetic and generic determinism, a new threat to free will? Peter Lipton
    Part III. Neuroscience and the Law:
    6. Human action, neuroscience and the law Alexander McCall Smith
    7. Responsibility and the law Stephen Sedley
    8. Programmed or licensed to kill? The new biology of femicide Lorraine Radford
    9. Genes, responsibility and the law Patrick Bateson
    Part IV. Stewardship of the New Brain Sciences:
    10. The neurosciences: the danger that we will think we have understood it all Yadin Dudai
    11. On dissecting the genetic basis of behaviour and intelligence Angus Clarke
    12. Prospects and perils of stem cell repair of the central nervous system: a brief guide to current science Helen Hodges, Iris Reuter and Helen Pilcher
    13. The use of human embryonic stem cells for research: an ethical evaluation Guido de Wert
    14. The Prozac story John Cornwell
    15. Psychopharmacology at the interface between the market and the new biology David Healy
    16. Education in the age of Ritalin Paul Cooper
    Part V. Conclusion: Conclusion Dai Rees and Barbro Westerholm

  • Editors

    Dai Rees
    Sir Dai Rees is Knight Bachelor, a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and a founding Fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine. He was President of theEuropean Science Foundation (1993-1999) and Secretary and Chief Executive of the UK Medical Research Council (1987-1996). He has now retired.

    Steven Rose, The Open University, Milton Keynes
    Professor Steven Rose has been Professor of Biology and Director of the Brain and Behaviour Research Group at the Open University since the inception of the university in 1969. His research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of learning and memory.


    Steven Rose, Mary Midgley, Merlin W. Donald, Hilary Rose, Regine Kollek, Peter Lipton, Alexander McCall Smith, Stephen Sedley, Lorraine Radford, Patrick Bateson, Yadin Dudai, Angus Clarke, Helen Hodges, Iris Reuter, Helen Pilcher, Guido de Wert, John Cornwell, David Healy, Paul Cooper, Dai Rees, Barbro Westerholm

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