Consciousness: An Interdisciplinary Conference

Consciousness: An Interdisciplinary Perspective is a two-day, international conference and workshop that explores the pressing ethical, moral and existential problems of modern neuroscience and neurotechnology from an interdisciplinary perspective.

The event is an initiative to develop consciousness research as a broad field the purpose of which is not only to gain further empirical access to and insight into the human mind, but also to foster a strong neuroethical and -existential dimension.

Consciousness: An Interdisciplinary Perspective brings together scholars from Oxford and beyond to share and discuss the latest work in consciousness research and engage with foundational theorising about the nature of an emerging field.

The event is in-person and held in Oxford. It uses a specific clinical research project as a case-study, namely the Wellcome Innovator project on deep brain stimulation (DBS) on minimally conscious states and the role of brainstem nucleus in human consciousness led by Prof Alex Green and invites for wide interdisciplinary commentary, reflection and debate from researchers in other disciplines.

In the initial session, Alex Green will describe the research and clinical conundrum in relation to DBS and bring insights from the decisions he and his team make on a daily basis in relation to treatment.

In the following sessions, speakers from the fields of neuroscience, ethics, literature, anthropology, psychology and cultural studies will engage with the case-study and related research by considering the ethical, existential, psychological and socio-cultural implications and reflecting on questions such as: What constitutes meaningful or desirable states of consciousness? What is a good life? How do new neurotechnologies impact our view of human nature and mind/consciousness? What are the individual psychological and existential implications? What are the socio-cultural implications?