The 1990s were the Decade of the Brain, and the first hundred years of the new millennium have been proclaimed its Century. Neuroscientists see these as symbolic gestures that will support their drive to solve the puzzle of human consciousness, and unravel the secrets of an organ described as the most complex of the universe. But proclaiming a Decade or a Century of the Brain also signals the omnipresence of the brain as a major icon of contemporary culture – from literature and the plastic arts, to medical ethics, to theology and religion, to emerging research areas such as neuroeconomics or neuroeducation, and to an expanding galaxy of more or less extravagant neurobeliefs and neuropractices. The conference intends to explore various aspects of the history, sociology, anthropology, and presence and consequences of the cerebral subject as a major figure of contemporary culture.
2-4 August 2006, Rio de Janeiro. Organized by the Institute for Social Medicine (State Univ. of Rio de Janeiro) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin). For more information, contact F. Vidal or see www.brainhood.net
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