Conference: BioPrediction

An International Conference at the American Association for Advancement of Science and the Carnegie Institution

Washington D.C., 8-9 May 2010

Organised by Dr Ilina Singh (LSE) and Professor Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke University)

“Can biological information aid predictions of misconduct? That is the question of BioPrediction. The idea is not to replace psychological and sociological studies but to supplement them with new information from structural and functional brain scans, genetics, hormone analyses, and other biological sources. Contemporary statistical engines can use all of this information together to generate predictions of future delinquency and crime. In educational and other social contexts, biomarkers might aid in identification of ‘high risk’ children – perhaps at a pre-symptomatic stage – who will benefit from early interventions. In forensic contexts, biomarkers could inform predictions of criminal behaviour – including violence and sex crimes – to be taken into account in sentencing, parole, probation, and detention decisions. Biomarkers could also be used in addiction treatment programs to guide treatment and predict relapse, and in psychiatric contexts to predict risk of harm to self and others as prerequisites for release from a mental institution. These possibilities clearly raise a host of ethical and legal issues, including concerns about privacy, intervention and due process. All of this will be discussed by leading clinicians, social scientists, neuroscientists, lawyers, and ethicists at a workshop on May 8-9 in Washington, D.C. Revised papers from this workshop will be published in a collection.”

Registration is now open.

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