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Minds of Our Own?

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 15 March 2010

Policy-makers have long looked to science to help understand human behaviour and to influence it. But what if science could actually read people's thoughts and intentions? That's the promise of the latest research from neuroscientists, who claim to be able to scan our brains for lies, broken promises and violent intentions. But how reliable is the science of 'mind-reading'? How might it change our ideas about free will, responsibility and rehabilitation? And should we not be able to keep the thoughts in our head private? Presented by Kenan Malik.

Deborah Denno, professor of law at Fordham University in New York

Steven J Laken, president and CEO, Cephos Corp

Professor Hank Greeley, director, Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford University in California

Ray Tallis, philosopher and doctor

Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, chairman of the Centre for Social Justice

Professor Julian Savulescu, director of the Wellcome Centre for Neuroethics at Oxford University

Professor Geraint Rees, director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College, London

Paul Root Wolpe, Asa Griggs Candler professor of bioethics at Emory University in Atlanta.


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