Baylor University Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Davis is hosting a lecture by New York Times best-selling author, Dr. David Eagleman.
Eagleman's lecture, "The Brain and the Law," takes place Thursday, Oct. 10 at 3:30 p.m. in Room 127 at the Baylor Law School. Provost Elizabeth Davis will provide an introduction.
"Emerging questions at the interface of law and neuroscience challenge fundamental notions at the heart of our criminal justice system," Eagleman writes. "Are all brains really created equal? Is mass incarceration the most fruitful method to deal with juveniles, the mentally ill, and the drug-addicted? Can novel technologies such as real-time brain imaging be leveraged for new methods of rehabilitation? Because most behaviors are driven by brain networks that we do not consciously control, we demonstrate why the legal system will eventually be forced to shift its emphasis from blameworthiness to a forward-thinking analysis of future behavior. We will also address why the "Minority Report" and "Gattaca" scenarios are inherently impossible.
"I will address these and other issues through the lens of Baylor College of Medicine's Initiative on Neuroscience and Law, which brings together a unique collaboration of neurobiologists, legal scholars, and policy makers, with the goal of building modern, evidence-based policy."
Eagleman is a neuroscientist and directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action at the Baylor College of Medicine, where he also directs the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law. He is best known for his work on time perception, synesthesia, and neurolaw. At night he writes. His work of fiction, SUM, is an international bestseller published in 27 languages. His book on the Internet and civilization, Why the Net Matters, is available as an app for the iPad and as an eBook. Wednesday is Indigo Blue explores the neurological condition of synesthesia, in which the senses are blended. His latest book, the New York Times bestseller Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, explores the neuroscience "under the hood" of the conscious mind -- in other words, all the aspects of neural function to which we have no awareness or access.
Eagleman is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Next Generation Texas Fellow, a council member on the World Economic Forum, a research fellow in the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and a board member of The Long Now Foundation. He is an academic editor for several scientific journals, and has been named one of 2012's Brightest Idea Guys by Italy's Style magazine. He is the scientific advisor for the television drama "Perception," and has been profiled on the "Colbert Report," "NOVA Science Now," Tthe New Yorker, CNN's "Next List," and many other venues. He appears regularly on radio and television to discuss literature and science.