Past Meetup

What is a fair distribution of brains? with Anders Sandberg

This Meetup is past

162 people went

Price: £5.00 /per person

Birkbeck College

Torrington Square WC1E 7HX · London

How to find us

Room B36 is on the basement level

Location image of event venue


How might different groups of people benefit or lose out from various forms of brain enhancement? How does justice intersect with designer neuroscience?

In this talk, renowned neuroscience researcher and futurist philosopher Anders Sandberg reprises and extends the ideas he explored in his talk at Transvision 2014 in Paris (

There will be plenty of opportunity for audience members to ask questions and to comment on the ideas raised.

About this talk:

In a post-industrial economy useful individual abilities - human capital - are increasingly important both individually and to society. But acquiring human capital is presently a slow, expensive process of education and training. Human capital can be lost through the processes of aging, or made obsolete as the world changes ever faster. People also vary in their mental abilities, which has significant effects on life outcomes.

Can we do better? And if so, what risks and opportunities arise?

Biomedical cognitive enhancement may allow better acquisition and retention of mental ability - including more reliable thinking under conditions of stress. How would such improvement affect social equality? Being able to buy better brains would benefit more well-off people and give them a competitive advantage, but less sharp people could benefit more from enhancement than brighter people, and the network effects of a smarter society might benefit everyone.

About Anders Sandberg:

Dr Anders Sandberg ( is a James Martin research fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University (

As a part of the Oxford Martin School he is involved in interdisciplinary research on cognitive enhancement, neurotechnology, global catastrophic risks, emerging technologies, and applied rationality.

Anders has been writing about and debating future studies, transhumanism, neuroethics and related questions since the 1990s. He is also an associate of the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics and the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, as well as co-founder of the Swedish think tank Eudoxa (

Meeting Logistics:

2pm-4pm, Saturday 17th January 2015.

Venue: Room B36, Birkbeck College (, Torrington Square WC1E 7HX, London.

Room B36 is on the basement floor in the main Birkbeck College building, in Torrington Square (which is a pedestrian-only square). Torrington Square is about 10 minutes walk from either Russell Square or Goodge St tube stations.

Coffee and other light refreshments can be purchased from the Costa Coffee shop in the reception area of the building, either ahead of or after the meeting.

The event will be followed by a chance to continue the discussion in a nearby pub - The Marlborough Arms (, 36 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HJ.

Event hashtag:

#LonFut (

Covering meeting costs:

A small fee (£5) is payable to attend this meetup. This fee covers room costs. Please pay in advance, online.

This will be refunded if the meeting is cancelled or rearranged, or if the attendee cancels at least 3 days before the meetup.

Alternatively, if there are still seats available, payment can be made in cash at the door on the day. (Requesting payment in advance assists with accurate planning of the event.)

Journalists are welcome to attend the meeting free-of-charge - please contact the organiser, notifying us in advance of your plans to attend.