Championing Ethics in Neuroscience: Professor Jennifer Chandler Wins Prestigious Steven E. Hyman Award

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Communication, Faculty of Law

In recognition of her outstanding contributions to the study of neuroethics, Professor Jennifer Chandler has been named the winner of the 2024 Steven E. Hyman Award for Distinguished Service to the Field of Neuroethics.

Awarded by the International Neuroethics Society (INS), this international accolade is one of the most prestigious distinctions in the field, and stands as a testament to Professor Chandler’s significant impact and leadership within the global neuroethics community.

Professor Chandler works at the intersection of law and biomedical science and technology, focusing her research on the law and ethics of the brain sciences and neurotechnology. She has played a foundational role in establishing international collaborations between academics and clinicians, leading, for example, the publication of the first international comparative study of the laws of “psychosurgery” which brought together leading functional neurosurgeons from Europe, Asia and the Americas. She is currently the coordinator of a research consortium entitled “Hybrid Minds: Experiential, ethical and legal investigation of intelligent neuroprostheses”, which studies the use of AI-based neuroprostheses as medical devices and the resulting ethical and legal questions that arise from their use. The consortium involves an international research team of experts from Canada, Germany and Switzerland. Professor Chandler is also a founding member of the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics and holds the Bertram Loeb Research Chair. In 2022 she was elected as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, one of the highest honours for members of the Canadian health sciences community.

Steven E. Hyman, the inaugural recipient of the award, is a former Provost of Harvard University, and previously served as Director of the US National Institute of Mental Health. He currently directs the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, exploring the emerging genetics of neuropsychiatric disorders. The Hyman Award is reserved for those who have made a unique contribution to the development of the field of neuroethics. Past winners include some of the most distinguished names in the field, including world-leading neurophilosopher Patricia Churchland of the University of California, San Diego, and James Bernat of Dartmouth Medical School, who is recognized as a leading American authority on clinical ethics in neurology.

Professor Chandler is, notably, the first Canadian to receive the Steven E. Hyman Award.

The award was presented at the INS Annual Meeting, which is taking place from April 17-19, 2024, in Baltimore, Maryland. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Expressing Wonder, Making Meaning: Neuroethics Engages the Arts”.

Congratulations to Professor Chandler on this truly exceptional achievement!