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The Legal Mindfield

Thursday 8 March 2012, 19.00-20.30

Image of hands hiding face by Shelley James

Listen to an edited recording of this event. Download the MP3.

Advances in brain imaging are provoking new thinking about long-established concepts and principles such as moral responsibility, admissibility of evidence and appropriate punishment.

If allowed into criminal investigations or courts of law, these techniques could affect our understanding of guilt, deception and intentionality. They could be used to defend or condemn the accused. Should fMRI be used in court to reveal what some claim to be the innermost thoughts of defendants? Can you punish someone for an intention, rather than an action? Will peering into someone's brain one day land them in prison? Join us as we separate empirical knowledge from philosophical speculation and science fiction.


Tom Ziessen, Public Engagement Adviser, Wellcome Trust

Nikolas Rose, Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King's College London

Lisa Claydon, Associate Professor in Criminal Responsibility, Bristol Law School


Claudia Hammond, BBC Radio 4 presenter

This event was part of our series on neuroethics.

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