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Director’s Innovation Speaker Series: Beyond the Lab: Navigating Ethical Challenges of Emerging Neurotechnology


June 25, 2024




Dr. Anna Wexler headshot

During this lecture, Anna Wexler, Ph.D. , explored the ethical challenges and considerations associated with the expansion of neurotechnology from controlled laboratory environments to consumer use. Drawing on her research surrounding do-it-yourself, direct-to-consumer, and alternative neurotherapies, she highlighted the importance of addressing unintended uses of neurotechnology.


Read the transcript.

About Dr. Wexler

Dr. Wexler is an Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, where she studies the ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding emerging health technology, with a particular focus on neuroscience applications.

Dr. Wexler is the recipient of a 2018 NIH Director's Early Independence Award and a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics. She received her Ph.D. from MIT in the HASTS (History, Anthropology, Science, Technology & Society) Program, where her dissertation centered on the do-it-yourself brain stimulation movement. Her essays have been published in outlets such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Slate, and STAT.

Prior to her Ph.D., Dr. Wexler worked as a documentary filmmaker and science writer. She co-directed and co-produced the feature documentary film Unorthodox.

About the Director’s Innovation Speaker Series

NIMH established the Director’s Innovation Speaker Series to encourage broad, interdisciplinary thinking in developing scientific initiatives and programs and to press for theoretical leaps in science over the continuation of incremental thought. Innovation speakers are encouraged to describe their work from the perspective of breaking through existing boundaries and developing successful new ideas, as well as working outside their primary area of expertise in ways that have pushed their fields forward. We encourage discussions of the meaning of innovation, creativity, breakthroughs, and paradigm-shifting.


More Information

Closed captioning and a sign language interpreter will be provided for this event.