The University of Michigan-Flint Philosophy Department and Flint's Insight Institute for Neurosurgery and Neuroscience (IINN) have teamed up to create Michigan's only center charged with exploring the intersections of mind, medicine, and morality: The Center for Cognition and Neuroethics (CCN).
Flint neurosurgeon Jawad A. Shah, M.D. approached UM-Flint's Philosophy Department with the seed of the idea in late 2011. He said, "The entire program was a part of a vision to try to address and understand issues of the mind and the brain in a way that was not being fully addressed anywhere else. The idea was to create a center that's unique, that brings together physicians, medical people, clinicians, neuroscientists, but also not to forgot the philosophers—who are the beginning of any type of a science."
The Center for Cognition and Neuroethics, along with IINN and Diplomat Pharmacy, is part of the new Biomedical Technology Campus at the former site of the Great Lakes Technology Center–which was the onetime site of GM's Fisher One plant. The space that will house the CCN has been remodeled, but thus far only UM-Flint's Philosophy capstone course has utilized the space. In April, capstone students Zack Murphy and Matt Mead presented papers at CCN that were representative of the type of research that will be produced by UM-Flint scholars at the center.
In the following video, Zack Murphy gives a brief overview of his capstone paper entitled "The Case Against a Purely Neuroscientific Proof for Reductive Theories of Mind," and discusses the potential of the CCN.
In the video below, Matt Mead gives a brief overview of his paper entitled "Dead Donor Laws in Organ Procurement: Incoherent in Theory and Practice," and talks about his excitement at having been accepted into the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Medical School.
The full scope of activity at the CCN is still taking shape under the guidance of co-directors Jami Anderson, Ph.D. of UM-Flint Philosophy and IINN's Dr. Shah. However, there are already plans for an annual conference, an ongoing lecture series, workshops, as well as production of a bi-annual publication entitled The Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics. As UM-Flint Philosophy's Stevens Wandmacher, Ph.D. said, "It's very exciting, and not just for our department. There's amazing potential here."
In this video, Wandmacher leads a tour of the CCN facilities.