The future is now: NERRI Consortium Meeting at Porto

It’s less than a week now for the official kick-off of NERRI’s next Consortium Meeting at Porto. As every meeting has been, this one, on the 28th and 29th November, will be a time for NERRI partners to share and discuss experiences, in this case of the MLEs (Mutual Learning Events) that have been taking place all over Europe during the last months.

It will be the time to discuss the completed and the planned MLE’s and to share the lessons learned from each of them – what worked well, what didn’t work so well, and, most importantly, the reasons behind the results. It will also be the time to start summarizing the outcomes of all that effort and feeding them as input for the project’s next phase: governance of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). Under the leadership of Partner 4, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, NERRI will contribute to put into practice a consolidated Shared Agenda for Neuro-Enhancement (NE) in Europe on the basis of a coherent framework based on the concept of RRI.

However, the Meeting, which has been organized by the Portuguese members of the Consortium, is not the only venue in town where visions of the future will be under scrutiny. In fact, this Meeting is in tune with the Forum do Futuro(Forum of the Future), an initiative of Porto’s Municipality, which will include numerous events during next week devoted to debating visions of the future and counting in its ranks with names as architects Jean Nouvel and Rafael Moneo, artist Martha Rosler, theater stage director and playwright Robert Wilson, among many others.

For NERRI members, two very special events are foremost: first, on the afternoon of the 28th, at Teatro Rivoli (Rivoli Theater), a debate about NE will be moderated by Alexandre Quintanilha (IBMC) and Ilina Singh (KCL) and count as invited speakers Barbara Sahakian (Cambridge researcher and one the foremost “smart drugs” expert) and Ian Harrison (researcher at the University of Reading (UK), who will talk about Neuroprosthetics and Subdermal Magnetic Implants, one of which he carries in his own body). Then, on the morning of the 29th, a session devoted to the theme Revolution in personalized medicine: will we be able to eradicate disease and at what price? will take place at Teatro Rivoli with the participation of a very special guest speaker – Aaron Ciechanover (Israel), awarded with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2004.

As if there weren’t enough reasons to be excited about one more NERRI Meeting, team members get to discuss visions of the future in the midst of an entire week of artists, scientists, and thinkers engaging in the same challenging practice. The future is now, time to get started!