RE: The Economist: Dangers of Neurotechnology

From: Ben Houston (
Date: Thu May 30 2002 - 12:31:48 MDT

Rafal wrote:
> ### To me it's quite worrisome that the mainstream media are
> beginning to gnaw at the freedom of science in yet another field.
> The articles sound like incitement to commit yet more laws, which
> could significantly interfere with the kind of work I want to
> clinically apply throughout my career as a neurologist - the
> development of treatments for neurodegenerative disorders,
> including electric brain stimulation, stem cell implantation,
> and modification of cell genomes and organelles.

Maybe your fear of over-regulation is a real one in the United States
but here in Canada it seems like a distant worry. Remember that here in
Canada we have not banned and are not planning to ban the creation of
new stem cell lines. Although one could argue that the US might start
to impose its conservatism on these issues on other countries like
Canada through the use of Cuba-like sanctions.

I think it is neat that some people in the mainstream media take the
field of neurotechnology seriously. If neurotechnology does become
mainstream then there will need to be a public discussion on what is
socially acceptable and what is not. These public discussions will most
likely result in the enactment of various government regulations.
Government regulations are sometimes necessary in areas such as
pharmaceuticals, agriculture and health care to ensure that people do
not get hurt by overzealous or stupid individuals.
-ben houston

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