What would an anti-militaristic, animal-loving, non-toxic, anti-sanist neuroscience look like? It’s a question explored in a New York Times article about two “Green Neuroscience” laboratories in San Diego and Toronto.
“For Dr. Lam, those are important considerations. Indeed, scientists like her worry that neuroscience has become a dirty business. Too often, they say, labs are stocked with toxic chemicals, dangerous instruments and hapless animal subjects,” reports the Times. “Funding often comes from the military, and some neuroscientists fear their findings may soon be applied in ways that they never intended, raising moral questions that are seldom addressed.”
In their statement of principles for the Green Neuroscience Laboratory, the participating researchers pledge to, “Question the very idea of “typical’ brain structures, functions and “phenotypes”. Challenge, rethink and deconstruct definitions of “disorders”, “normal” and “deviance”. Be aware of racism, sexism, ableism, mentalism, sanism, ageism, speciesism, anthropocentrism and other forms of bias and discrimination in neuroscience research. Search for methods, cures and changes of perception that can reduce suffering, but not normalize or reduce the rich variability of life.”
Discovery, Guided by Morality (New York Times, January 5, 2015)
Two Neuroscientists Who Get It Right (Biopolitical Times, January 7, 2015)