|Fr Joseph Tham, LC, and Alberto García in the conference room where the congress was held.|
January 11, 2011. London, England. This past December 7-8, 2010,
a Legionary priest, a brother, and a Regnum Christi consecrated
man participated in an international congress on neuroscience held at
the Saïd Business School of Oxford University.
The congress, entitled
“Neurosociety: What is it with the brain these days?” was
organized by the Institute of Science, Innovation, and Society (InSIS)
and the European Neuroscience and Society Network.
The stated purpose
of the conference was to explore “the rise of the
brain and the emergence of the brain industry or ‘neuromarkets,’”
which has resulted in new findings in fields such as
psychopharmacology, neurology and behavioural genetics." Recent discoveries in the field
have given rise to new ways of reading the brain
and controlling behavior, such as with psychotropic drugs like Prozac
and Ritalin. Since these advances necessarily raise a host of
social, legal, and ethical questions, the congress aimed to shed
light on “how, why, and in what ways the figure
of the brain [has] come to permeate so many different
areas of thinking and practice in academic and commercial life”
and to uncover its consequences for academia, business, commerce and
|A group photo of the congress participants. Fr Joseph Tham, LC, and Br Alberto Carrara, LC, are at the far left.|
Two Legionaries and one consecrated man attended the congress in
representation of the Regina Apostolorum’s Research Group in Neurobioethics: Fr
Joseph Tham, LC, a professor of bioethics at the Regina
Apostolorum; consecrated man Alberto García, director of the UNESCO Chair
of Bioethics and Human Rights; and Br Alberto Carrara, LC.
After the congress, Alberto García, Fr Tham, and Br Carrara
visited the Department of Physics of Oxford University, where Fr
Joseph blessed the new laboratory of neuronanotechnologies, directed by Dr.
Sonia Contera. Afterwards, they met with various Catholic intellectual figures,
including David Albert Jones, director of London´s Anscombe Bioethics Center.