Continuing from its last meeting (in February 2014), the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues will continue working on the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative in its June 9-10 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. An agenda is still forthcoming, but the Federal Register notice confirms that the Commission will have BRAIN as the main focus of the meeting, also covering relevant work in neuroscience. The event will be webcast, so check the Commission’s website on June 9 and 10 for the relevant link.
I speculated recently that the successful in vivo replication of synthetic DNA with artificial base pairs would attract the Commission’s attention. Without an agenda, it’s harder to be sure, but it seems that this development may have to wait for the next next meeting of the Commission.
In other developments, Commission staff are apparently going to examine some efforts to engage bioethical issues through plays. I’d be very excited to see some of this happen during a Commission meeting, but any little bit is interesting. The authors of these plays, Karen H. Rothenburg and Lynn W. Bush, have published excerpts in their book The Drama of DNA: Narrative Genomics. The book focuses on the use of narrative forms to help in engaging with the ethical implications of some applications of genomic technologies.
The Commission also has a YouTube channel, where there are a few videos describing its work and providing educational materials on the topics it has worked on over the last few years. It’s worth your time.