Father of the Cyborgs: Panel Discussion

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About the Video: In this panel discussion on the award-winning documentary, Father of the Cyborgs, neuroscience and ethics experts explore body augmentation, medical tourism and various other technological and ethical issues raised in the film.

About the Panelists:

- Paul Root Wolpe is the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory, the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, and the Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics. His teaching and publications include death and dying, genetics and eugenics, sexuality and gender, mental health and illness, alternative medicine, and bioethics in extreme environments such as space.

- Dr. Amy Orsborn is a Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor in Electrical & Computer Engineering and Bioengineering at the University of Washington. She's also a core staff scientist at the Washington National Primate Research Center. She works at the intersection of engineering and neuroscience to develop neural interfaces to restore motor function. Among her honors, she received a L'Oreal USA for Women in Science postdoctoral award, the L'Oreal USA Changing The Face of STEM award, a Google Faculty Research Award, an Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Engineering research fellowship, and a pilot award from the Simons Foundation Collaboration on the Global Brain. She completed her Ph.D. at the UC Berkeley/UCSF Joint Graduate Program in Bioengineering, and was a postdoctoral researcher at NYU’s Center for Neural Science.

- In 2004, Nathan Copeland was just 18 years old when a serious car accident left him with quadriplegia. The lack of mobility caused by this made life more difficult and often left him feeling like he would no longer be able to accomplish much with his life. Years later, he was presented with the opportunity to help shape future technologies that could eventually benefit people in similar situations. When he learned that this opportunity involved being a participant in a research study, he knew he couldn’t refuse. For the last 7 years, Nathan has participated in a brain-computer interface study through the University of Pittsburgh. Using microelectrode arrays implanted in his motor cortex, he is able to control a robotic arm. Additionally, Nathan was the first human implanted with microelectrode arrays in somatosensory cortex, which can be stimulated to provide sensation back from the robotic arm. While his time with the research study is finite, Nathan has built up a wealth of experience that will stick with him for the rest of his life, from meeting President Barack Obama to giving presentations in Japan. He hopes to continue sharing his story and insights into using an implanted brain-computer interface with the world.

- Anna Wexler (Moderator) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the principal investigator of the Wexler Lab, where she studies the ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding emerging technology, with a particular focus on do-it-yourself medicine, direct-to-consumer health products, and neuroethics. Dr. Wexler is the recipient of a 2018 NIH Director's Early Independence Award and a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics. She received her Ph.D. from MIT in the HASTS (History, Anthropology, Science, Technology & Society) Program, where her dissertation centered on the DIY brain stimulation movement. Her essays have been published in outlets such as the The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Slate, and STAT.

- Dr. Laura Cabrera is the Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Neuroethics. She is an Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, and Philosophy at Penn State University. She is a Research Associate at the Rock Ethics Institute, and affiliated with the Center for Neural Engineering. She is also Faculty Affiliate at Neuroethics Canada, University of British Columbia. Dr. Cabrera is an honorific member of the Mexican Neuroethics Society, chair of the IEEE Brain Neuroethics Subcommittee, and member of the International Neuroethics Society (INS) Board of Directors. Dr. Cabrera's interests focus on the ethical, societal and cultural implications of neurotechnologies used for treatment as well as for non-medical purposes. Produced in partnership with IEEE Brain (https://brain.ieee.org/) and the International Neuroethics Society (https://www.neuroethicssociety.org/). Recording funded in part by a grant from the United Engineering Foundation (https://www.uefoundation.org/).

About the Video: In this panel discussion on the award-winning documentary, Father of the Cyborgs, neuroscience and ethics experts explore body augmentation, medical tourism and various other technological and ethical issues raised in the film.

Speakers in this video

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