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The Unesco Courier (2022_1): Should we be afraid of neuroscience?
In the field of neuroscience, reality has already surpassed fiction. Who could have imagined that it would one day be possible to implant false memories in an animal’s brain, or to dictate a text to a computer by using thought alone?
These advances are promising but the ethical questions that neuroscience raises are commensurate with the hopes it generates because it has the particularity of interacting directly with the brain – that is, with the part of ourselves at the very foundation of human identity, freedom of thought, free will, and privacy. It is therefore urgent to establish safeguards to fill these gaps and guarantee the effective protection of citizens against the possible use of their brain data. It is precisely the purpose of the debate led by UNESCO within the United Nations system to develop a global framework for the governance of neurotechnologies.