Dr. James Giordano

Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC, USA.

James Giordano, PhD, MPhil is Chief of the Neuroethics Studies Program, and Scholar-in-Residence in the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, and is Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA. He is also Distinguished Visiting Professor of Brain Science, Health Promotions and Ethics at the Coburg University of Applied Sciences, Coburg, Germany, and was formerly 2011-2012 JW Fulbright Foundation Visiting Professor of Neurosciences and Neuroethics at the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany.

Dr. Giordano currently serves an appointed member of United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Council on Human Research Protections (SACHRP); and has served as an appointed member of the Neuroethics, Legal and Social Issues (NELSI) Advisory Panel of the Defense Advanced Research Projects’ Agency (DARPA), and Senior Science Advisory Fellow of the Strategic Multilayer Assessment Branch of the Joint Staff of the Pentagon.

The author of over 250 publications in neuroscience and neuroethics, 7 books, and 11 government whitepapers on neurotechnology, ethics and biosecurity, he is an Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Philosophy, Ethics and Humanities in Medicine; and Associate Editor of the Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics.

His ongoing research addresses the neurobiological bases of neuropsychiatric spectrum disorders; and neuroethical issues arising in and from the development, use and misuse of neuroscientific techniques and neurotechnologies in medicine, public life, global health, and military applications. In recognition of his work, he was elected to membership in the European Academy of Science and Arts, and was awarded Germany’s Klaus Reichert Prize in Medicine and Philosophy (with longtime collaborator Dr. Roland Benedikter of the University of California at Santa Barbara).


DAY 2: September 12, 2019 | Session CO-CHAIR | 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

James, Giordano, PhD, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC, USA


DAY 2: September 12, 2019 | Session 3 | 4:00 PM - 4:20 PM

Big Data, Brain Science and Neuroethics: Expanding Possibilities, Addressing the Problematic

James, Giordano, PhD, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC, USA

The employment of big data approaches together with technological advances in the neurosciences presents an unprecedented opportunity to understand and affect the human brain, human cognition and behavior, and to incur benefits in human health and social conditions. Big data analytics provide new methods and forums for addressing seemingly intractable questions. Big data methods enable the kinds of comparisons necessary to interdisciplinary neuroscience, and allow dissemination and exchange of vast and diverse types of information. However, the acquisition, use and analysis of big data can also be and/or become problematic to the application of neuroscience, which can be exacerbated if and when data are employed beyond academic settings, in social (i.e.- legal, economic) and political realms.

Therefore, it will be important to ethically assess, analyze, develop, and guide the use of big data approaches to neuroscientifically-based information that can – and likely will – be engaged. Effectively attending to these contingencies will require: 1) pragmatic assessment of the actual capabilities and limits of big data approaches to neuroscience discovery and application(s); 2) open discourse to address the intended and/or unintended outcomes of new knowledge and scientific/technological achievements that may be produced, and 3) recognition of those ways that such outcomes can affect humanity, the human condition, and society - both locally and internationally - on the twenty first century global stage.